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Articles on this Page
- 07/13/17--09:06: _Hydrate — don’t eva...
- 07/13/17--09:37: _Garrett Rogers take...
- 07/13/17--14:53: _DelTech continues t...
- 07/13/17--15:25: _Barefoot Gardeners ...
- 07/13/17--15:55: _Ocean View Concert ...
- 07/13/17--16:12: _D.J. Batman recount...
- 07/13/17--16:19: _Ocean City Tuna Tou...
- 07/13/17--16:26: _Seismic testing in ...
- 07/13/17--17:14: _Delaware State Legi...
- 07/13/17--17:17: _Public urged to kee...
- 07/13/17--17:32: _German grocer ‘Lidl...
- 07/13/17--17:41: _Selbyville council ...
- 07/13/17--17:46: _New partnership res...
- 07/13/17--17:51: _Medical marijuana n...
- 07/13/17--18:06: _Frankford continues...
- 07/13/17--18:12: _Ocean View council ...
- 07/13/17--18:16: _Fenwick to consider...
- 07/20/17--08:06: _Atlantic General Ho...
- 07/20/17--08:08: _Beebe offers suppor...
- 07/20/17--08:09: _Peninsula Oil donat...
- 07/13/17--09:06: Hydrate — don’t evaporate
- 07/13/17--09:37: Garrett Rogers takes to the field at Camden Yards
- 07/13/17--14:53: DelTech continues to grow student veteran services
- 07/13/17--15:25: Barefoot Gardeners Club offering free Story Time in Fenwick
- 07/13/17--15:55: Ocean View Concert in the Park to feature Over Time
- 07/13/17--16:12: D.J. Batman recounts resort life through decades of fun
- 07/13/17--16:19: Ocean City Tuna Tournament marks 30th anniversary
- 07/13/17--16:26: Seismic testing in the Atlantic back on the table
- 07/13/17--17:17: Public urged to keep an eye out for marine life in the bays
- 07/13/17--17:32: German grocer ‘Lidl’ could make big impact in Millsboro
- 07/13/17--17:41: Selbyville council creates stricter rules for grass height
- 07/13/17--17:46: New partnership rescues septic systems from despair
- 07/13/17--17:51: Medical marijuana now sold in Lewes ‘compassion center’
- 07/13/17--18:06: Frankford continues to discuss Mountaire settlement
- 07/13/17--18:12: Ocean View council approves improvements to Melson building
- 07/13/17--18:16: Fenwick to consider allowing two votes per trust
- 07/20/17--08:08: Beebe offers support group for those living with heart failure
No one needs to tell the weekly reader of Coastal Point that this region of the country can be very hot and humid in July and August. It’s one of the reasons so many people flock to our beaches. Society refers to the hottest part of the year as the “dog days” because that is when the star Sirius — the Dog Star — rises just before the sun in late July.
In the 1950s, when I was playing junior tennis, the new-age thinking here on Delmarva was that we should eat salt tablets and not drink water. Not only did we do that in competition, we trained that way to prepare for competition.
I suppose the idea was to keep our sodium levels from becoming too low, but it didn’t work. I woke up in the hospital several times after suffering heat exhaustion. Once, I had started to hit tennis balls to the players in the other semi-finals on the adjacent court. Another time, my father actually had to stand on my legs and push down on my shoulders to straighten out my 15-year-old body, which was completely cramped after an almost three-hour match.
I’ve been fighting this dehydration problem now most of my life because of damage done then. No doubt chronic dehydration led to my frequent kidney stone attacks. Even today, if I am not careful with hydration, I can go from feeling fit to weak and confused in less than a minute.
Internally, the electrolyte balance is essential for the normal function of our cells and organs. This summer, I am starting to take over-the-counter electrolyte supplements as a precaution.
Fortunately, I know my symptoms. Last year in the Beach Blast, I felt it coming, and Dianne Milam revived me with pickle juice. Yes — the brine water from a bottle of pickles.
I never warmed up to the sports drinks because of the excessive sugar, and I have even been known to immediately stop recreational play in August when I feel the symptoms and grab a beer in the absence of any other electrolytes to help restore balance. Afterward, I find a cool spot, rest, and begin to chug down as much water as I can.
Of course, this is only something I would recommend only in a bind because of the further dehydration effect of alcohol.
Sweat is intended to cool our bodies and keep our internal temperature under control. But as we sweat, we lose salt, and during long periods of excessive exercise, the sodium levels in our blood get lower, and this imbalance begins to create other problems in our body. It is known as hyponatremia.
As we dehydrate, our blood thickens, requiring more pressure to pump through the body. As the pumping becomes less efficient, less gets to the muscles and brain. The result is physical weakness and mental confusion. This is known as dehydration.
Because our internal fluid balance can be dangerous and should be taken more seriously, especially by those in, or nearing, retirement years, I ask you — no, I plead with you — to take it seriously. Dehydration can be deadly. Hydrate — don’t evaporate!
Another top pickleball coach is in the area this week. His name is Prem Carnot, and he is here under the coordination of First State Pickleball Club, doing group and private sessions at the dedicated courts behind the John M. Clayton Elementary School.
The morning of Thursday, July 13, about when this edition hits the newsstand, is the last day he is in the area, and you might want to drive out to Clayton to observe him to see if this is something you might want to sign up for the next time Prem passes through the area. You can learn more about First State Pickleball activities by checking out firststatepickleball.org.
At the end of the month, on July 30 and again Aug. 2, Dee Ahern, a nationally-ranked 5.0 player will be making some appearances — first at the Reserves in Lewes and then at the Lewes public courts.
The left-handed Abern has amassed 62 gold, silver and bronze medals in sanctioned play since 2014, and 44 of those are gold. If you are interested, check out delawareseniorolympics.org or drop me an email and I might have a contact for her sessions as well. Ahern’s visit is coordinated by the Delaware Senior Olympic Committee.
Vaughn “The Baron” Baker is a Senior Olympics gold-medalist in pickleball, and is public relations director for the First State Pickleball Club (FSPC) and captain of the Ocean View Crew pickleball community. He spent his career working with top tennis professionals while working for Wilson Sporting Goods and introducing the Prince Tennis Racket and Wimbledon Tennis Lines. For more information, visit PickleballCoast.com.
For Wendy Rogers, the simple joys of summertime seem sweeter this year.
That’s because last year at this time, her son Garrett “G-Money” Rogers was recovering at A.I du Pont Hospital for Children in Wilmington from the severe injuries he sustained in a car accident. Garrett was struck by a drunk driver last May when he ran to retrieve balls during a baseball practice in Millsboro. His injuries were serious, and his future outlook was very much in question in the beginning.
“That day, I was in the helicopter; I was in the ambulance to Beebe, and I did not come home ’til August,” Rogers said. Garrett was in a medically induced coma for several weeks, allowing his brain and body to recover slowly from the trauma of the accident.
By September, though, Garrett had recovered enough to throw out the first pitch at a Delmarva Shorebirds game in Salisbury, Md. Surrounded by friends, the then-10-year-old Little League pitcher took a victory lap around the bases.
This year, with a little help from his friend and physical therapist Josh Smith, Garret upped his game a bit. On Saturday, July 1, he threw out the first ball at a Baltimore Orioles game. Again, family and friends — “a lot more than I expected” — were in stands, cheering him on, Rogers said.
It wasn’t the first time the team had reached out to the young baseball player. Immediately after the accident, baseball teams from all over the country, from Little League to pro — including the Orioles — sent photos and get-well wishes to Garrett. The support went viral on social media, with athletes and non-athletes alike sporting Garrett’s 22 jersey number and the hashtags #22 and #gmoneystrong.
Rogers said Smith, who has been working with Garrett at Beebe Medical Center’s physical therapy office since last December, orchestrated Garrett’s debut on the Charm City mound. Smith, along with quite a few friends and family members, was on hand to watch Garrett’s pitch.
Also in the stadium was Delmarva television station WBOC, which interviewed Garrett during the game. “I think he was more nervous about that” than the actual pitch, Roger said.
In addition to throwing out the first pitch, Garrett was thrilled to be able to be on the field to see the Orioles’ pre-game batting practice, she said. And along with the game being Garrett’s first steps on a professional ballfield, “It was his first Major League game he’s ever been to,” Rogers said.
For Garrett and his family, including his mom, Wendy, and his younger sister, Aubrey, 8, the game was a way to kickstart their summer — a welcome do-over after last summer, much of which was spent in the hospital.
Roger said she gets frequent reminders — as if she needs them — of all that they went through, when she logs onto Facebook and its “Memories” feature pulls up photos of Garrett a year ago. The earliest photos show him lying in his hospital bed, barely conscious; later ones show a smiling but obviously struggling little boy as he learned to walk again.
“On the one hand, it’s so good, and on the other hand it’s so hard,” she said, “to see how far he’s come.”
Now a rising sixth-grader at Millsboro Middle School, Garrett has been discharged from physical therapy but will still receive services at school to continue his recovery. Right now, the family is waiting to find out if Garrett will be released to play sports in the fall.
“He still has some weakness on his right side,” Rogers said, adding that “he still has some things to work on.” But, she said, “I definitely think he’ll be back to sports.”
Garrett is not the only athlete in the family, Rogers noted. Aubrey “adores horseback riding” and will start cheerleading in the fall, according to her mom. For Aubrey, the past year has been challenging, Rogers said.
“She’s had her own journey. In some ways, this has been, psychologically, harder for her.”
Aubrey stayed with relatives near the hospital for the entire summer of 2016 and has struggled to process all that her brother’s injuries and recovery have entailed.
“It’s just a lot to explain,” Rogers said.
At the time of the accident, the family was already reeling from the death of Wendy’s husband and the children’s father, Kirk, of a heart ailment only six months earlier.
As for herself, Rogers said she is trying to find peace again. She spoke briefly of the driver who struck Garrett, who pleaded guilty in connection with the accident.
“I just hope he never drinks and drives again, and my hope is that he has some positive changes in her life.”
Rogers said she is still overwhelmed by the community support for her family since last spring and is determined to give back.
“I wonder a lot what did we do to be so deserving. A lot of people go through rough things,” she said. “I’m trying to get to a place where we can give some of that (support) back. I like to do small things,” she said. “I’m not comfortable in all that attention, in the spotlight.”
For now, Rogers said, she is enjoying the simplest of things.
“Just planting flowers and seeing them actually bloom” is a special joy, she said, after spending the previous summer in the sterile hospital environment with Garrett.
“He’s come a long way,” she said, as have she and Aubrey. “It’s a family journey, that’s for sure.”
Delaware Technical Community College is making strides for its student-veterans. Last week, the college opened its new Veterans Resource Center at its Charles L. Terry Campus in Dover — joining centers at its Stanton and Georgetown campuses.
The Terry Campus center was funded by a donation of $22,000 from the Naient Foundation, which, according to its website, is a “provider of asset management and business processing solutions for education, healthcare and government clients at the federal, state and local levels.”
“What we found, with Naviet, the criteria for their particular donation was in line with several of the priority needs of the college, one of them being the Veterans Resource Center,” said Judi Sciple, vice president for Institutional Effectiveness & Development at DTCC. “So, we were invited to fill out an application, and we received a first-time donation from Naviant … which we’re very pleased about.”
The center will host guest speakers and student-veteran programs, such as financial education, career workshops and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) seminars. It also will provide a meeting space for the college’s veterans to study, relax and engage with fellow veterans, and for the Veterans Inspiring Progress (VIP) student organization that offers support and networking for the campus veteran community.
“This center is another example of our ongoing efforts to provide support for veterans at all of our campuses statewide,” said Delaware Tech President Mark T. Brainard. “The opening of this center means that we now have Veterans Resource Centers in all three counties to help our student veterans achieve their educational and career goals. We sincerely appreciate the support of the Navient Foundation in making this project a reality.”
Each of DTTC’s VRCs is funded differently, and Sciple noted that the college partners with military and veterans organizations throughout Delaware.
The college is aiming to provide as many services to veterans as they can, which includes academic counselors and help with VA and tuition assistance benefits. The college VIP program connects student veterans with resources to help them succeed, and offers support and camaraderie. Each campus also hosts Veterans Day events.
“Our VRCs have supported various student veterans across the state. We have had Veterans Administration experts explain VA benefits, which has resulted in a better understanding of VA programs and employment opportunities. We have had résumé workshops, and we have had students struggling with academics receive tutoring at the centers by other veterans,” said Dave Strawbridge, director of Military & Veteran Services. “We have heard thank-you’s for a quiet space to have a cup of coffee.
“I have personally been able to hear stories from our student veterans and learn what they’ve been through, which I can pass to our administrators and instructors. Stories of sexual assault, Humvee rollovers, IED attacks, post-traumatic stress or moral injury are stories they share in these spaces with fellow veterans.”
Sciple said that since Brainard assumed the role of DTTC’s president in 2014, veteran services have increased.
“Our services and programs for veteran students have grown tremendously since then. Having these centers is just one more notch in that tag to help those students.”
“I don’t believe we could be this successful at Delaware Tech without the vision and leadership by our college president, a supportive team at each campus and the wonderful external partners that support our endeavors,” added Strawbridge. “This is truly a state solution to support any of the 76,000 Delaware Veterans who want to further their education.”
DTTC Owen’s Campus radiological technology student Lionel Harris, who served in the U.S. Air Force, agreed. As a Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran, Harris thanked DTCC teachers for their expertise, as well as Brainard for making the college itself a military-friendly school.
“To say that this is a military-friendly school is an understatement.”
Strawbridge said those using the VRCs — veterans — are generally “non-traditional students,” who have jobs and families.
“Most veterans that I have met are veterans of either OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] or OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom], but not all.”
Offering student veterans the added support and resources is important to Del Tech, said Strawbridge.
“Student Veterans of America, a national organization whose mission is protecting the G.I. Bill and supporting student veterans and student veteran organizations on campus has highlighted the importance of having a VRC on campus that provides a space for non-traditional students to study, network, socialize and be around like-minded people who have shared similar experiences of being in the military.
“Delaware Tech provides three key veteran support functions: (1) Each campus has a veteran services academic counselor; (2) Each campus has a Veterans Inspiring Progress student veteran organization led by a student veteran and a Delaware Tech advisor who is also a veteran; (3) Now each campus has a VRC. With these three functions intertwined, Delaware Tech has a one-stop shop for new student veterans who can get all of the internal and external support they need to be successful.”
The college has also received recognition for their efforts. For the third year in a row, Delaware Tech has been recognized as a Military Friendly School, a designation awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.
It also received the 2016 Delaware Warrior Friendly Business Award, which is presented to a Delaware business that supports service members, veterans and their families through workplace initiatives such as employment, networking and support.
“When we better ourselves,” Harris said, “we better our lives, we better our children’s lives, and we better our communities.”
The Barefoot Gardeners Club hosted its first Story Time in the Park of the summer season on the morning of Wednesday, July 5, at the town park adjacent to Fenwick Island Town Hall. The park features a butterfly garden, a gazebo and a playground, all of which are available to Story Time attendees.
Story Time started promptly at 10 a.m., when Susan Henickle introduced the ladies of the Barefoot Gardeners Club and politely asked the children to gather under the gazebo. The club members in attendance included Susan Henickle, Barbara McCoy, Mary Ellen Gonski, Sue Clark and Jennie Nedwick.
The July 5 Story Time combined both the club’s love for the environment and the Independence Day holiday, as the children listened to three book readings. It all began with a reading of a book about the creation of the United States’ flag. Henickle interacted with the children throughout, asking questions such as, “Who sewed the first flag?” and waiting for the children to answer.
Next, the club members transitioned away from Independence Day and brought out caterpillars in containers for the children to see. McCoy showed the children a diagram of the life cycle of a painted lady butterfly and read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Following the reading, McCoy and other members of the club walked the children to the butterfly garden on the edge of the park to observe the butterflies.
Story Time closed with a book about how to care for plants. Then, to finish the morning and the Story Time, the Barefoot Gardeners Club presented each child with a sunflower plant and a flag to take home.
“The theme of this year’s Story Time in the Park is the environment and how we can all make a difference,” said McCoy. “We’re planning on having the children sign a pledge to protect the environment at the final Story Time.”
The club has been in existence for more than 12 years and started reading to children a few years after the creation, McCoy said. This year, the club will host four weekly Story Times in the Park in the month of July, right under the gazebo. Most attendees during the first week were 5 or younger.
“Many of the children are actually grandchildren of members of the club,” said McCoy, smiling.
To attend the free Story Hour in the Park event on Wednesday, or any session throughout the rest of the summer, simply stop by the Fenwick Island Town Hall at 10 a.m. to check it out. For more information of the Barefoot Gardeners Club, find them on Facebook.
Continuing their tradition of offering free entertainment in the summer months, the Town of Ocean View will host a Concert in the Park this Friday featuring the Over Time Band.
The concert will be held on June 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. in John West Park. Those attending are being encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy classic rock and popular contemporary tunes.
“They always draw a huge crowd,” said Donna Schwartz, Ocean View town clerk.
Schwartz said Boy Scout Troop 281 is going to be in attendance, selling hot dogs, sodas and water to those who want a snack. Rita’s Water Ice will also be available for purchase.
People may also pack their own picnic and take advantage of the pavilion at the park or find a nice spot on the grass.
If it rains, however, the Town will reschedule the performance for a future date.
The Town has put a focus on its Concerts in the Park this summer, and more entertainment is headed to Ocean View. Other Concerts in the Park are scheduled for Friday, July 28, featuring Junior Wilson & Chatty; Saturday, Aug. 12, featuring the Delmarvalous Dolls (an Andrews Sisters tribute band); and Friday, Aug. 25, featuring The Funsters. All are scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m.
Schwartz said the concerts have been well-attended in the past, and the Town hopes the community will continue attending and enjoying the array of music.
“I think that the Town gives back, in a sense, to the residents,” said Schwartz, “Of course, you don’t have to live in town to enjoy it.”
Schwartz said the concerts are a great community event that all should try to take advantage of.
“We hope for good weather, No. 1. We hope everybody comes, has a good time and enjoys themselves.”
For more information about Ocean View’s Concerts in the Park, visit www.oceanviewde.com or call (302) 539-9797. John West Park is located at the intersection of West and Oakwood Avenues. Free parking is available in adjacent municipal lots.
As we sit in the little alley between M.R. Ducks and the Marina Deck in Ocean City, Md., about an hour before Mike “D.J. Batman” Beatty goes onstage, the longtime entertainer and occasional mischief maker recalls what brought him to the resort about 50 years ago, and how little, for him, it seemed to change during that time.
“People feel the same things they did coming across the Route 50 bridge they did 50 years ago — I’m here, I’m in Ocean City and I’m on vacation,” he said. “This town never changes, but society does.”
Beatty doesn’t mean that literally. He’s quick to recall there wasn’t really anything north of 40th Street in his first summers here, and how some of the hangouts had changed.
“Back then, Ninth Street was the big hangout. There was no other place to go, it was the big hangout. Every kid was there. If there were eight cops in town, then seven of them were on Ninth Street,” Beatty said.
At the time, police were addressing the invasion of what people considered an undesirable element, much like now, except that current complaints are about “thugs,” “miscreants” or worse, while back then it was the hippies.
“People would say families would never ever want to come to Ocean City because of the dirty, rude, filthy hippies,” Beatty said. “You know, the ones that bring their grandkids here today.”
In those days, Beatty said, you couldn’t carry a blanket on the Boardwalk, because people would just assume you were staying at the Underwood Hotel — slang for sleeping under the Boardwalk, which was between 3 and 5 feet higher than the sand in those days, and highly discouraged by officials.
“Pat O’Brennan had his guitar and would sing on the beach,” Beatty said. “The police would stand guard and let him get away with it for about 20 minutes before they would break it up. All the kids would circle up, listen, and we called it a ‘hootenanny.’”
Beatty also recalled that anyone who ran afoul of the law back in those days had a long ride ahead of them — the only police holding facility was in Snow Hill, about 30 minutes south.
He also said the police were more liable to motivate crowds with nightsticks, rather than the tactics used today.
Beatty recalled getting picked up for under-age drinking — a half-gallon of Bali-Hai wine and some Ripple wine — and was fined $450, or, in today’s terms, about $3,500.
He said his mother had to take out a loan to pay the debt from one of the only places that would lend a woman money in those days.
Beatty said all of the men had to wear shirts, but almost no one wore shoes. He said the others would look down on you for wearing shoes.
But then development came.
“If someone wanted to build near the water, they just pushed in some dirt and went for it,” he said.
Eventually, someone did the unthinkable: opened a restaurant offering bayside dining.
“When John Fager opened up [Fager’s Island], everyone thought he was crazy. Leighton Moore at Seacrets, Billy and Maddy Carder at B.J.’s — everyone [else] thought they were nuts,” he said.
The madness deepened when restaurants started opening up in West Ocean City, too.
“No one in 1967 would ever think to go back across that bridge,” he said.
Seacrets — in Beatty’s estimation — changed all of that.
“Seacrets made Ocean City a destination. You look at the trade magazines for the top-performing bars, it’s all New York City, Las Vegas, New York City, and then, Ocean City, Md. And that’s all mainly done in four months out of the year,” he said.
But even as the resort grows, it stays the same. As the quote goes, history never repeats itself, but it rhymes.
“This here,” Beatty said, gesturing at the docks, the waves, the sunset, “this doesn’t change. People do. The vacationers do. As people get older, if your ball goes in my yard, then it becomes my ball.”
Beatty said he was performing for the Class of 2009 six years ago, got on stage and told the crowd he didn’t understand the music or their attitudes.
“You could hear a pin drop, OK? Then I said I wasn’t talking about them, I was talking about me, us — everyone else. The place went nuts,” he said. “Ocean City will always survive. It’ll survive Junebugs — it’ll survive people smoking marijuana, OK?”
There are several new rules and added entry-level calcuttas in place for the 30th annual Ocean City (Md.) Tuna Tournament, taking place July 14-16.
Tournament organizers met with a committee of past participants over the winter to brainstorm and discuss the competition, and some adjustments were made for the 2017 event.
This year, anglers can pass the rod while fighting a fish, with the exception of junior and lady anglers competing for those awards.
“We had a lot of requests for that,” said Tournament Director Jennifer Blunt.
If an angler is struggling to reel in a big tuna, another can take over to help bring the fish to the boat.
Paid captains and mates can’t be anglers. They can only hook a fish and hand the rod off to someone else.
Only one big-eye tuna can be weighed per boat each day. That fish can be added to stringer weight.
Weigh-in times on Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, have been extended one hour and will now end at 8:30 p.m. Boats most reach the junction buoy by 8 p.m. Crews will then have 30 minutes to get their fish to the Ocean City Fishing Center scale in West Ocean City, Md. Sunday’s times will remain the same, with the scale closing at 7 p.m.
Organizers have also changed the boat-size added levels. They are: boats 35 feet or less, 36-51 feet, and 52 feet or larger.
To increase the chance for more participants to win money, organizers added two new “On the Board Reward” levels, as well as a largest-bluefin tuna calcutta.
“Tuna fishing is good. We’re seeing some bluefin, wahoo, dolphin,” Blunt said early this week. “We’ve seen a few big-eyes. They’re not quite here yet. I think we’ll see a lot of yellowfin [during the tournament]. Yellowfin is what we’re mostly seeing right now.”
Final registration for the tourney was set to take place Thursday, July 13, from 3-7 p.m. at the Fishing Center in West Ocean City. A captains’ meeting was to follow. For those who missed early registration, the cost is $1,000 per boat (with a maximum of six anglers).
Altogether, there are 17 added entry-level calcuttas for the 2017 competition. The cost to enter them ranges from $100 to $5,000. Teams may sign up for one or all of the added entry-level categories, which, if they place on the top of the leaderboard, could substantially increase the amount of prize money they receive.
• Level A — $250 — Single Largest Tuna — Daily
• Level B — $250 — Heaviest Stringer — Daily
• Level C — $500 — Winner takes all
• Level D — $500 — Boats 35’ & Under — Winner takes all
• Level E — $750 — Boats 36-51’ — Winner takes all
• Level F — $1,000 — Boats 52’ & Up — Winner takes all
• Level G — $2,500 — Squidnation Heaviest Stringer Jackpot — Winner takes all
• Level H — $5,000 — Yeti Pro Jackpot Single Largest Tuna — Winner takes all
• Level I — $500 — 50/30/20 split
• Level J — $1,000 — 50/30/20 split
• Level K — $2,500 — 50/30/20 split
• Level L — $300 — Single Largest Dolphin
• Level M — $200 — Single Largest Wahoo
• Level N — $500 — Single Largest Bluefin Tuna
• Level O — $500 — On the Board Reward “A”
• Level P — $1,500 — On the Board Reward “B”
• Level Q — $200 — Charity Donation — 50/50 split. Fifty percent will go to the singles largest tuna and 50 percent to a selected charity. In 2016, the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company was the beneficiary, and the organization received $3,150. The fire department will also be the recipient for 2017.
Levels C, D, E, F, I, J and K are split between Single Largest and Heaviest Stringer.
Levels D, E, F, I, J and K can only win in one category, Single Largest or Heaviest Stringer, not both.
The cost to go across-the-board with the $1,000 entry fee for boats 52 feet or larger is $17,700; $17,450 for boats 36-51 feet; and $17,200 for boats 35 feet or smaller.
The Level H Pro Tuna Jackpot Winner Takes All costs $5,000 to enter, but it pays off for the angler with the heaviest single tuna, as long as he or she signs up for the calcutta. In 2016, 39 of the tournament’s 78 boats entered the Calcutta, and the pot itself totaled $175,500.
Joe Czajkowski landed the largest tuna of the 2016 competition, a 156-pound big-eye. Czajkowski and his Fish Tricks teammates were awarded $216,512 for first place in the Single Largest Tuna Division — $175,500 of that came from Level H.
Last year, with 78 boats, $625,500 was awarded to tournament winners.
“The past few years, we’ve had less than 100 boats, but the money is still there,” Blunt said. “A lot of boats go across the board.”
For 2017, tournament fishing is permitted Friday through Sunday, July 14-16. Anglers will fish two of the three days. Boats can leave either the Ocean City or Indian River inlets. Catches will be weighed at the Ocean City Fishing Center from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, this year, and until 7 p.m. Sunday, July 16.
There is no cost to watch the weigh-ins, which are open to the public.
Prize money will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-heaviest single tuna and the largest total catch weight.
Each boat may weigh up to five fish per day to compete for a two-day total-pound catch.
There is a 30-pound minimum weight requirement for all eligible tournament tuna (yellowfin, bluefin and big-eye).
Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places in the Park Place Jewelers Ladies Division. A $1,500 award will be presented to the female angler who catches the largest tuna. Prizes of $1,000 and $500 will be distributed to second and third place, respectively.
A Junior Angler division is available for those 16 or younger. The winner will receive $1,000. Cash prizes of $500 and $250 will be presented to junior anglers who land the second- and third-heaviest fish.
There will also be prize money of $2,500, $1,000 and $500 for the first-, second- and third-largest dolphin.
Since several wahoo have been caught during the tournament over the years, organizers added a division for the fish last year, and it was well received. Of the 78 tournament boats, 56 entered the wahoo calcutta in 2016. The calcutta is also available this year.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the tournament, there will be a party on Saturday night, July 15, under a tent at the Fishing Center from 7 to 10 p.m.
The event is open to the public and free to attend. Drink specials will be offered, and Hot Tub Limo band will perform. There will be free parking that evening and during tournament weigh-ins in the West Ocean City Park & Ride. Free shuttles to and from the Fishing Center and Park & Ride will be available during weigh-ins.
For more information about the Tuna Tournament, call (410) 213-1121 or visit www.octunatournament.com.
The battle was won. For a few months, at least.
People up and down the Atlantic Coast had celebrated the federal government’s decisions to reject seismic testing and potential oil or gas drilling.
But President Donald Trump has reversed some of those decisions and instructed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to consider revising the schedule of proposed oil and gas lease sales, to include the Alaskan seas and Atlantic Ocean, which the Obama administration had specifically removed from consideration.
“We’ve fought this campaign before … but we’re at it again,” said Matt Heim of the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT). “We’re going to need all of your voices and then some to win this campaign.”
Every five years, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) writes America’s management plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, about 50 miles from shore. The process itself takes several years.
More than 100 coastal towns, as well as economic, fisheries, tourism and military sectors, had fought to keep seismic testing and oil drilling out of the Atlantic out of concerns over its potential impact.
So in the spring of 2016, the Atlantic was removed from the 2017-2022 plan. In January, seismic surveys were denied in the Mid- and South Atlantic.
This April, however, an executive order revoked those permanent protections and instructed the BOEM to reconsider six geophysical and geological (G&G) permit applications for seismic surveys that had already been rejected.
On April 28, Trump issued Executive Order 13795, outlining an America First Offshore Energy Strategy: “It shall be the policy of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production, including on the Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.”
The public has until Aug. 17 to comment.
Stepping back up to fight the proposal are local and national groups including Oceana, ACT, Surfrider Foundation and the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation (MERR) Institute.
“There’s a lot of concern. Basically, we’re starting from square one on a lot of these things,” Heim said. “The only thing that’s really changed, though, is the president. None of the reasons that we voiced in our opposition have changed …why we are opposed to this in the first place.”
A potential oil spill is the first concern. If BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill had occurred in the Atlantic, it would stretch from Virginia to the Carolina border, seeping into inland bays and rivers.
Even the more common small spills could be a “big problem” for a tourism economy of Rehoboth Beach or Ocean City, Md., said Heim.
Moreover, the potential Atlantic oil and gas reserves aren’t believed to be as lucrative as those in the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, the seismic testing must be done to even determine the best places for drilling. Seismic airguns shoot intense blasts of compressed air — one of the loudest manmade sounds. During testing, the blasts constantly pierce the ocean floor and reflect back up to help ships create a map of likely oil reserves in the Atlantic.
But sea creatures depend on echolocation, and water is a superb conductor of sound. Animals including dolphins, whales and turtles risk extreme pain or disorientation. Some change their migratory paths to avoid the noise, which can have a broad, but unknown, impact on other species further up the food chain.
The marine fisheries and industry had opposed seismic testing, having seen mass kills in other parts of the world, believed to be caused by seismic noise.
“We’re talking about putting our entire East Coast at risk, putting our economy at risk, putting our fishing communities at risk, putting our ecosystems at risk, for an industry that’s only going to be here 20 years, and then what are we left with?” Heim argued.
Six companies had applied for seismic permits to study potential reserves. With that underwater data, BOEM would decide what locations to even allow lease sites in the Atlantic. Drilling companies would bid for the opportunity to lease a site. Only then would BOEM grant a corporation permission to drill, if it so chose.
The BOEM was instructed to create a National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which would replace November’s 2017-2022 Program.
The official Request for Information was published in the Federal Register on July 3. The 45-day comment period will end Thursday, Aug. 17.
The president also instructed that other rules be reviewed and, if necessary, revised or withdrawn. That includes a memorandum on the effects of human-made sounds on marine mammal hearing; expedited reviews of Incidental Harassment Authorizations, Incidental-Take and Seismic Survey permits; and more.
Also, before the U.S. creates or expands any National Marine Sanctuary, the Department of the Interior must study the potential for energy or mineral resources there — including oil, natural gas, wind or methane hydrates — and the impact a sanctuary would have on those cultivating energy there.
People can learn more at www.boem.gov/Leasing and www.boem.gov/Frequently-Asked-Questions-for-RFI-and-National-Program.
Comments may be submitted online or by mail. Details are online at www.boem.gov/National-OCS-Oil-and-Gas-Leasing-Program-for-2019-2024. Comments may mailed regarding “BOEM-2017-0050” to Ms. Kelly Hammerle, National Program Manager; BOEM; 45600 Woodland Rd.; Mailstop VAM-LD; Sterling, VA 20166.
Southern Delaware’s rural nature can be a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to wireless signals.
Some coastal police departments have complained about dropped calls. A small business that operates from a cell phone or tablet might suffer from poor response time because of slow service. A group of friends with Verizon, Sprint or AT&T might complain about poor reception in different parts of the county.
The Delaware State Legislature recently passed the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Investment Act, aiming to make Delaware a more hospitable place for wireless companies to improve service.
“In recognition of the shift from landline to wireless communications, the act authorizes wireless providers access to the state’s rights of way and establishes a statewide policy for deployment of small wireless cells to meet the growing demand for wireless services,” the bill synopsizes.
Although they aren’t considered public utilities, wireless service providers play an important role in daily life. And they should soon be able to apply for permits through the Delaware Department of Transportation to place small wireless facilities on utility poles in the roadway, such as an antenna that takes up no more than 6 cubic feet of space.
HB 189 is aimed at helping prepare Delaware for the next major shift, into digital communications, and keep the First State competitive in a global economy.
Some towns, including Fenwick Island, specifically forbid wireless structures on residential or commercial buildings. But DelDOT controls most roadways, so they can help providers offer better wireless service with devices on existing utility poles.
That puts Delaware in a more competitive spot to attract better wireless service.
“It puts us in front of the big states. And Delaware being a small state, that’s to our advantage,” said Terry Tieman, Fenwick Island town manager. “As you know, utilities are in business to make money, so this helps us a great deal.”
HB 189 passed the Delaware General Assembly and this week awaited Gov. John Carney’s signature. It had 17 sponsors and passed unanimously (with five absences).
Marine mammal experts this week warned anyone seeing dolphins in any of the area’s bays not to fret — the aquatic mammals are just enjoying a delicious feast of fish before heading back to sea.
“We get reports numerous times throughout the summer months of dolphins that are being sighted in the inland bays, including Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay and Little Assawoman Bay,” said MERR Institute Executive Director Suzanne Thurman. ”They go in through the Indian River Inlet and, in most cases, they go in there to feed. They’re following the fish in on the current.”
MERR stands for the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute Inc. The institute is a non-profit stranding response and rehabilitation organization dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles.
Thurman said the dolphins will take advantage of the shallow waters in the bays to feed.
“Since it’s tidal, as the tide goes out, the fish will often get trapped on the sandbars. The dolphins will artificially strand themselves to roll up on the sandbars to eat the fish and then roll themselves back into the water.”
Once they are done eating, they will head back to the ocean, said Thurman.
People can enjoy the show but should always keep their distance. Federal law mandates a minimum distance of 150 feet from marine life on land and 300 feet in the water.
“If they are idling their motor and the dolphins come close to them, that’s different. But definitely do not pursue the dolphins. That is very dangerous in the shallow waters.”
Thurman also said boaters should try to be cognizant of the possible presence of dolphins and sea turtles while in the bays.
“They stay near the surface and get hit by the blades of the motors, which is also, in most cases, a fatal injury, and, of course, also damages the propeller.”
While dolphins are generally easily sighted, thanks to their fins breaking the surface of the water, sea turtles can be a little more difficult to spot.
“Sea turtles will sleep on the surface of the water, so they sometimes might [show as] a break in the water pattern or something that looks like a lump on the water.
“Of course nobody wants to hit a sea turtle. It’s usually completely accidental. Just keep a careful eye on the water — especially if it’s choppy, when it’s harder to see.”
Thurman said people are always welcome to contact MERR regarding any aquatic mammals or sea turtles that may be in distress or just to report a sighting.
For more information about the MERR Institute, visit www.merrinstitute.org. To reach MERR about a sighting or animal in distress, call their 24-hour hotline at (302) 228-5029.
They may have recently wrapped up their most successful Fourth of July celebration at Cupola Park in years, but for the town of Millsboro, the fireworks are just getting started.
At the regularly scheduled town council meeting on Monday, July 3, the council approved the preliminary site plans to add German grocer Lidl to the growing list of new businesses bound for Millsboro that so-far include: Lewes Dairy, Farmer’s Bank, Royal Farms, Chick-fil-a and more.
Lidl, a global retailer priding themselves on “customer satisfaction” and “superior quality for the lowest price possible” as top priority has been compared to American chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Now expanding their U.S. presence under the tagline “Our roots are European, but our vegetables are grown here,” Lidl is being eagerly anticipated in communities around the country.
Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson said bringing in Lidl would fall directly in line with the council’s vision for future development.
“We’re very excited about it,” he said. “This has definitely been something we’ve had on our wish list for a while.”
While plans were still in preliminary stages, Hudson went on to explain that if the process went smoothly, final approval could be made later this summer for Lidl to begin construction opposite Peninsula Crossing on Route 113.
The hope from town officials is to not only add another grocer option for a diversifying demographic of Millsboro residents but to continue to bring more employment options as well.
“That’s a big part of council’s mission, is to see employment growth,” Hudson said. “They’re continuing to stay proactive in their push to make the town not only a more attractive place to visit but also to live.”
With the proposal to raise maximum heights in the commercial zone along Route 113, more hotels could be the next item potentially checked off of the council’s “Big Three” wish-list surrounding economic expansion.
“The goal is to make the town more attractive to hotel developers, so we’re looking at how to make that happen,” Hudson explained of the plan to increase the building height cap from 35 feet to the 50- to 55-foot range, to be able to draw larger hotel chains and better accommodate venues and events such as the Little League Softball World series.
The council is also exploring the possibility of easing billboard restrictions to allow “grandfathered” businesses to annex into town limits and potentially bring even more retail employment options to the town.
But while the continued news of expansion and development may be making a new name for Millsboro, the council is equally determined to honor its past.
“That’s the neat thing about Millsboro, is you have 113, but then you have the history of the downtown area — it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation,” Hudson explained.
“We’re really excited about the future. We also see preserving the town’s history as an important component to downtown revitalization.”
For more on new happenings in Millsboro, or for a full list of upcoming events, check out the Town’s new website at www.millsboro.org.
Some local property owners may need to break out their lawn mowers a little more often. The Selbyville Town Council voted this week to reduce the maximum allowable height of grass from 12 inches to 8 inches.
That will let the Town begin the enforcement process sooner. Previously, town staff were concerned that by the time they sent a warning notice at 12 inches, the violation was continuing at 14 inches and the grass sometimes remained uncut until 18 inches.
On July 10, the council unanimously adopted changes to Code Chapter 131 “Property Maintenance.”
The lack of homeowner response has been a problem, said Town Manager Stacey Long. She also encouraged the town council to increase the lawn-mowing fee rates for Town staff to do the job. When Public Works mows a person’s lawn, it should be a penalty, not the inexpensive option, she said.
On the road with Mountaire
Mountaire Farms and the Town are still at odds over truck parking.
“We’d like to get an amicable situation with all parties and comply with all the requirements the Town has,” said Mike Tirrell, a Mountaire vice president. “We certainly don’t want to be a nuisance.”
He invited town council members to tour the site, so both sides can gain insight and find a solution.
But Mountaire hasn’t been following the rules for a long time, some Selbyville council members said. In 2013, the two entities signed an operating agreement that allowed Mountaire to build a new indoor parking facility and gave the Town power to assess fines if Mountaire didn’t park trucks accordingly.
Councilman Clarence “Bud” Tingle said Mountaire doesn’t follow the agreement, but Selbyville is also at fault for not assessing penalties.
“We can certainly listen, but we’ve done this all before,” Tingle said. “You guys wrote the agreement. You have a problem living up to it. … Why have an agreement if you just do what you please? That’s what we see.”
He said Mountaire has considered more permanent changes to the plant’s layout, which the Town would prefer, but it’s a very expensive prospect.
Meanwhile, Mountaire has requested to drill a new well in Selbyville, but the town council still isn’t pleased with the proposed location.
The old well, #3A, is running out and nearing the end of its lifespan, Tirrell said. Mountaire proposed a replacement far from the old location, but the Town wants it closer to the original.
Tingle said Mountaire has acres to build upon, so the Town doesn’t believe the plant needs to cross the road to a nonconforming property.
“We have a situation where, if we don’t have it replaced, we could actually not have enough,” Tirrell said of the plant’s water supply. “There’s some urgency to our request. We’re going to have to do something.”
Mountaire will take that issue back to the drawing board.
The council also asked about other issues with Mountaire, such as incidents when chicken plant odors linger over town, or a new water source. For instance, when asked about underground water pipes from the repair shop, Mountaire staff could not confirm whether the water has a backflow preventer or even a meter for billing.
In other Selbyville news:
• The Selbyville Public Library will host Coffee with a Cop on July 15 from 9 to 10 a.m. The public can meet Selbyville police officers, ask them questions or just to say “thank you.”
This autumn, Salem U.M. Church will invite SPD and other emergency responders to host a community discussion on the heroin epidemic. Details will be forthcoming. In mid-July, Selbyville police officers will begin carrying naloxone, an emergency overdose-reversing drug, and will undergo related training.
• Drinking water quality is improving in the town. Constant flushing of hydrants has reduced the buildup of total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), a disinfection byproduct. Meanwhile, the new aeration plant is helping to reduce volatile compounds in the water. Fluoride is again being added to the water, per state requirements.
• A public hearing will be held Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. to consider limiting additional car dealerships in town. The zoning proposal would move “new and used car dealerships” from “allowable uses” to “conditional uses.” That would mean the town council could permit that type of business, but they’d have the right to refuse it or insist on certain conditions. Council members have previously remarked on their being content with the current number of car dealerships in town.
• The council agreed to a $34,140 contract with KCI Technologies to help the Town write the 10-year update to its Comprehensive Plan, which is required by the State.
The Selbyville Town Council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.
When people move into neighborhoods with a new homeowner association, they may not know what they’re in for. It’s not just house colors and mailbox height. Sometimes it’s road maintenance and a neighborhood-wide sewage system.
That has led to major problems when homeowners are suddenly responsible for utilities with which they have no background. In some small neighborhoods, wastewater systems have been at risk of failing entirely.
“In most cases, they’re run by a homeowner association, where the developer created the homeowner association, turned the system over to the homeowner association, and now you have a bunch of people that just bought their houses, and now they have to run a sewer system,” said Jean Holloway, state manager for Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP).
Because the neighborhoods are private entities, they’re not eligible for municipal or nonprofit funding. Without professional help, they can simply flounder. They haven’t been required to have the same level of sewer connection as a municipality, so they basically had glorified neighborhood-wide septic systems.
Three nonprofit groups are now partnering to do the heavy lifting in Delaware. Clean Water Solutions (CWS) is a collaboration between Diamond State Sustainability Corp., EDEN Delmarva and SERCAP.
CSS will help small neighborhoods by taking over control of their wastewater systems, which can save everyone money. They own the system, take over billing and apply for grant funding to maintain the system.
The goal is to help “under-resourced communities, most of which are rural … or too far away from a community system to be connected easily or anytime in the near future,” Holloway said.
They estimate that, of about 165 community wastewater systems in Delaware, about 80 are “cluster” septic systems, where individual houses hook into a central drain field. Another third of them have technical, financial or managerial problems. Some systems have almost no money.
It was a well-kept secret that builders were turning over homeowner association (HOA) authority to the residents, but wastewater often became too difficult, expensive and complicated to maintain properly.
“These communities were left behind,” said D.C. Kuhns, founder of EDEN. “These are outside the reach of traditional county wastewater systems. … Once we transfer the assets, they’re under our purview. So we have control of the assets and are a nonprofit wastewater utility.”
The CWS partners don’t know for sure how many Sussex County communities fall into the category of needing help with their wastewater systems, but three pilot programs have begun locally, with three Sussex County developments of about 50 to 100 homes: Goats Way, Country Glen II and Morningside Village. CWS hopes to add another three neighborhoods by the end of 2017.
Each of CWS’s partners brings a different strength, whether fundraising, management or technical assistance.
It can be easier for an official agency to do billing, rather than neighbors requesting money of neighbors. The budget works on a split between 70 percent private foundations/grants and 30 percent community input.
“Up until now, this has been dogging [Delaware Department of Natural Resources], the USDA and other stakeholders for 20 years,” said Kuhns. “It’s been kind of buried under the rug, and this nonprofit organization … is the solution.”
“Most of these are bankrupt. … They have homeowners fighting with themselves. … It’s just a real mess. So we have to keep it economical or the problem will continue,” remarked Jerry Esposito, president of Tidewater Utilities.
About 11 percent of the nitrogen in Delaware’s inland bays could be attributed to such septic systems, they said.
They described the CWS program in May at the Second Annual Clean Water Forum, which Kuhns organized. He said he wants Delmarva waters to be as clean as when he was a young child vacationing with his family in “paradise,” a one-room fisherman’s shack in Dewey Beach.
“The water looked aquamarine green. It smelled fresh. … We could see all the creatures on the bottom because it was completely transparent,” Kuhns recalled. “I am motivated to use my influence and clean up the water. It’s going to take a generation,” he said, to fight for tributaries and waterways, so today’s grandchildren don’t have to.
Delaware isn’t letting just anyone use marijuana — yet. But it’s available to people with certain medical conditions who have gotten no relief from traditional medicine.
First State Compassion Center (FSCC) opened Sussex County’s first medical cannabis facility on May 26.
In order to use cannabis, people don’t get a doctor’s prescription, like they would for traditional medication. Instead, Delaware patients apply for a state registration card from the Delaware Division of Public Health.
In order for them to qualify, a physician must recommend that the patient use marijuana to treat symptoms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, the physical manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder or any conditions that cause severe, debilitating pain, wasting syndrome, intractable nausea and seizures. (The State is expected to add debilitating anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder to the list soon.)
The Delaware Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Card gets patients through the door of a compassion center.
Once inside FSCC, people meet privately with a patient advisor. Similar to a regular doctor’s appointment, staff interview the patient about their condition, then recommend a treatment.
The 4,000-square-foot facility includes private areas for patient discussion. The people behind the FSCC aimed to create a warm, well-lit facility with seven stations on a long countertop. Products are viewed in glass display cases at the “Bud Bar.”
That’s a big deal, because dispensaries in other states can “run the gamut,” according to an FSCC advisor, Pamela Johnston of Electrum Partners. “Some are like headshops or ‘sketch’-feeling spaces, and some are very high-end, like spas. We take special care in creating a professional environment that respects patients.”
Most people entering a dispensary for the first time are going in blind, or they have a friend who recommended cannabis treatments, so FSCC provides a “hand-held experience,” Johnston said.
Cannabis may come in different products. FSCC grows 17 of its own cannabis strains in Wilmington, selling loose-leaf “flower” (Sativa dominant, Indica dominant, high-THC, high-CBD and other hybrids). People may also choose capsules, concentrates, oils, tinctures, pre-rolls, topicals, sublinguals and mints. FSCC features products from cannabis companies Kalm Fusion and Tikun Olam. People can also purchase glassware, accessories, vape pens and other gear.
“There are so many different products and uses,” Johnston said. “Our people are very experienced, so we know the combinations that are popular.”
For example, a patient with epilepsy might want something with very fast absorption, such as a tincture.
There is some trial and error. Between many types of cannabis and products, people may need to experiment before finding the right treatment.
“They stumble upon whatever works the best for them, and it’s like lifesaving, life-changing!” Johnston enthused.
There is no cost for consultation, just for the product.
Registered patients or designated caregivers may possess up to 6 ounces of medical marijuana. A compassion center can dispense up to 3 ounces of marijuana to a qualifying patient in any 14-day period.
“Our foremost goal is the care we take of our patients, and that includes having the best medicine and the most caring staff,” stated Mark Lally, FSCC president and retired Delaware State Police trooper. “We built our new space focusing on the patient experience, aiming to create a modern, comfortable feel and an environment that enhances patients’ comfort while they safely explore products for their care.”
Delaware’s first legal seller
FSCC is licensed by the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services to provide medical-grade cannabis. “Compassion center” is Delaware’s term for these marijuana dispensaries.
“Our mission is built on providing licensed patients with safe access to high-quality and affordable medicine,” states the FSCC website. “We recognize that our patients are dealing with an array of complex — and in some cases very serious — medical conditions. We are committed to providing the most compassionate and comprehensive care and support to all.”
Working from New York, Johnston is a consultant for the consultants helping FSCC. Electrum Partners is an advisory firm in the global cannabis industry, helping put the pieces together by working with lawmakers, drafting regulations, advising the public and, in this case, helping FSCC President Mark Lally expand a legal marijuana dispensary.
Delaware law requires compassion centers to be operated similar to a non-profit (although they need not be recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service). Excess revenues must be spent in such a way as to maintain a not-for-profit character.
“The core of FSCC’s not-for-profit mission is to provide licensed patients with access to the highest quality of medicine that is affordable and safe. FSCC furthers this mission with the provision of free and reduced-priced medicine for patients that meet certain income guidelines or medical conditions. No one goes without medicine because of an inability to pay,” Johnston stated.
“[Excess] funds are either reinvested back into the operation or given out as charitable contributions to non-profit organizations that focus on health care and the wellbeing of Delaware residents.”
This year, that reinvestment meant expanding FSCC services in southern Delaware.
And the neighbors should be comfortable with the 24-hour security at the dispensary, said Johnston, adding that she does not anticipate increased crime in the area. Even though the building contains a drug that is also found on the black market, “We have never had an incident in Wilmington, and we’re quite confident that it’s not something that any of our facilities in Delaware would have to deal with.”
Although Johnston was tight-lipped about specific security details, Delaware requires compassion centers to have careful security for the products and building.
“We are owned and run by a former state trooper,” Johnston said of Lally. “”I would say knowing our team and who’s behind it,” the building is secure, she said. “We’re dealing with medical patients. We’re not dealing with Cheech and Chong … but I would pretty much guess that any attempt would fail,” she said.
But this is still a new program. In Delaware, some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of allowing an otherwise illegal drug to be dispensed as such.
“I would ask them to consider compassion for patients whose lives are changed,” Johnston countered. ”I would point out that a regulated market for cannabis would remove the unsafe black market and restrict access to youth.”
Plus, marijuana could help wean people off opioids, she said.
Delaware open to looser marijuana laws
Delaware approved the development of compassion centers in 2011 (one per county), and the registry program began in 2012.
FSCC opened Delaware’s first center in Wilmington in 2015. They were authorized to open another in Sussex County. In early 2018, Columbia Care has permission to open Kent County Compassion Center in an as-yet undisclosed location.
But Delaware may also be approaching legalization of recreational use of marijuana. Eight other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults.
The Delaware General Assembly recently created the Adult Use Cannabis Task Force (House Concurrent Resolution 52) to study the possibility of future legalization, including criminal concerns, taxation, revenue, consumer safety, substance-abuse prevention, packaging requirements and more. They’ll begin meeting in September and complete a report this winter.
When the Delaware General Assembly returns to session this winter, they may consider the Delaware Marijuana Control Act (HB 110), which would regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.
The bill would allow adults 21 or older to legally carry and consume up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Marijuana businesses would be limited by hours and holidays, just as alcohol. Marijuana use would still be prohibited in public and in vehicles.
A new Delaware Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee would hash out the details. In part, marijuana taxes would support state education, nonprofit organizations, and health and social services.
In Delaware, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Marijuana was decriminalized in 2015. Currently, adults possessing or using up to 1 ounce of leaf will face misdemeanors (for those 18 to 21) and civil fines (for those 21 or older), rather than lengthy prison sentences.
Although the FDA has not approved marijuana treatment, the agency does not object to cannabis research. Moreover, the agency has approved several drugs containing synthetic versions of a substance that mirror marijuana’s properties.
For more details on Delaware state rules and patient registration cards, call the Delaware Office of Marijuana at (302) 744-4749 or visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/medmarhome.html.
First State Compassion Center’s is located in the Vineyards development, at 12000 Old Vine Boulevard, Unit 102, Lewes.
Patients do not need an appointment. FSCC is open Monday to Saturday. The website is at www.firststatecompassion.com. People may contact FSCC South at (302) 281-4888 and FSCC North at (302) 543-2100 for more information.
In August of 2016, the Town of Frankford filed an appeal to the State’s Environmental Appeals Board following the decision of Delaware Department of Natural Resources Secretary David Small to issue well permits to Mountaire Farms for its Frankford facility, where the company had traditionally used municipal water sources and was a major component of the Town’s water department budgeting.
The Town, however, subsequently moved into discussions with Mountaire, postponing any hearing. Those discussions are still going on, according to Town officials.
According to Councilman Greg Welch, Mountaire offered to pay the Town $1,000 per month for 10 years to help with the loss of revenue from the business’ reduction in Town water usage.
“I’m against the agreement as written right now,” said Welch. “I don’t believe we’re getting enough for our approval of that well.”
Councilman Marty Presley reminded those in attendance at the July council meeting this week that there has been no agreement signed or even agreed upon.
“Mountaire several months ago came to us and said, ‘In exchange for the loss of revenue from the plant… here’s the settlement agreement.’”
Presley said the state legislature had worked this session on a bill that would give municipalities the right to sign off on industrial wells within their boundaries; however, it was not passed.
“We know the state legislators have looked at this issue very carefully over the last six months and decided not to change the law. So, that’s where we are now. We don’t know what the law will be going forward. We’re hopeful that the legislature will bring it back up in the next legislature session… We’re a year away from anything possibly getting passed.”
Welch said he believed signing the agreement would grant Mountaire the well approval, and that if the Town does do that, they should get more from the business.
“Nothing has changed since 2001,” said Presley, noting that the law makes it so that a well can be drilled without a municipality’s approval but with the approval of the State.
Welch said the draft legislation offered a clarification that did not need to be passed. Presley disagreed.
“It clarified the proposed bill that was pending. It did not clarify the existing law,” Presley said.
Town Solicitor Chad Lingenfelder was not in attendance at the July 10 meeting.
Resident Jerry Smith asked what the impetuous was for Mountaire to give the Town any money.
“Why does Mountaire give money to the school systems? Why does Mountaire give money to public endeavors that they don’t have to? They’ve got a pretty good reputation,” replied Presley, noting that Smith was implying that the offered money was to buy off the Town, adding that was not the case.
Presley said the Town has done its due diligence on the issue, having spoken to the Attorney General’s Office, multiple attorneys, legislators and state agencies.
“They all tell us the same story… The law is pretty clear. The three legal authorities I’ve spoken to said we have no grounds to take this to court.”
Smith said the Town could choose to go through with the appeal. Presley countered that the Town could; however, they would be walking away from $450,000 offered by Mountaire.
Presley said DNREC saw that, with the loss of revenue from Mountaire, the Town would default on its approximately $350,000 in loans for its water system, which is why DNREC had offered loan forgiveness.
“I don’t think they’re being totally upfront with you on as to why they’re doing that,” said Smith.
“They only offered us forgiveness on the interest of the loan until we made the appeal,” added Welch.
Resident Wesley Hays asked if the Town can afford to go through the legal process.
“No,” said Presley.
Hayes recommended the Town cut its losses and take the money offered by Mountaire.
“It’s not enough to keep our water plant afloat — that’s my problem with it,” said Welch. “I’m all for moving ahead, too, but if you look at our water budget, it’s very lean… It’s not sustainable.”
“What’s of more value to you — a little in your hands or nothing?” asked Hayes.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” said Preseley. “I don’t see how you go to court and risk losing…”
The council, on a vote of 4-1 (Welch opposed), approved revisions to the proposed settlement agreement, which included the removal of a provision that could have allowed Mountaire to drill a replacement well in the future.
Council President Joanne Bacon said that, once the changes have been made, the proposed agreement will come back before the council for possible approval.
Last month, the Town of Ocean View sought bids to alter the second floor of its Wallace A. Municipal Building. The work would include installing maglocks, card readers and door contacts for two new doors near the reception area, as well as the installation of a high-definition vandal dome camera outside of the elevator.
The Town received three bids, ranging from $64,262 to $81,800. The Town budgeted $40,000 for the project in its 2018-fiscal-year budget.
At the Town’s July 11 council meeting, Town Manager Dianne Vogel said Michael Baiocco of Kercher Engineering had reviewed the bids.
“When I go to the Kent County administration building, I have to go through a metal detector and put my personal belongings through scanners,” said Vogel. “You just don’t walk into a government building and walk around. That’s the way it has been for many, many years. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ — it’s a matter of when a disgruntled homeowner or a disgruntled ex-employee is going to come back…”
Vogel said the Town did not budget enough to complete the project.
“We did request bulletproof glass. The front of the façade of the second floor will look just like the front on the first floor. There will be two workstations with bulletproof glass on the second floor. No one can get beyond the elevator when they exit that second floor.
“That required additional locks, card readers and camera to see activity that occurs as someone comes off the elevator.”
Vogel said that, while the Town is over-budget on the project, she would recommend the council approve the work.
“I feel strongly that it needs to be done for the safety of all the employees.”
She suggested eliminating the budget item for replacing the bandstand in John West Park, noting it has been shored up and refurbished. She said the Town could use the $45,000 allocated for that project to complete the work at the municipal building.
“We need to move on this,” said Councilman Tom Maly.
The council voted unanimously to accept EDiS Company’s $64,262 bid, with the inclusion of Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader’s recommended changes to the bid proposal.
Also on July 11, the council held the first reading of an ordinance amending its Land Use & Development Code, by adding “Wildlife Education Centers” as special exceptions in General Business GB-1 and GB-2 districts.
Only Gabriel Ligon, co-owner of wildlife education center Barn Hill Preserve, spoke regarding the ordinance. Barn Hill has two branches — Delaware and Louisiana — which together educate approximately 800,000 kids each year in public and private schools across the U.S. Ligon said they visit schools at no charge; they make their money through item sales.
“The facility we want to create here will be very low-key,” he said. “We are already licensed by the federal government and the State of Delaware, the USDA APHIS to exhibit animals.”
Councilman Bill Olsen asked Ligon if he knew of any other facilities like Barn Hill in Delaware.
“There’s really not,” he said. “I think this would be something very unique and an asset to the area.”
A second reading of the proposed ordinance is scheduled for the September council meeting.
In other Town news:
• The Town will not hold meetings in the month of August. The next town council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m.
• During public comment, resident Chris Dominic asked what the Town receives, other than money, from its franchise agreement with Mediacom.
Mayor Walter Curran said that money was all the Town received and that the contract is non-exclusive.
“Anybody can come in and put in that type of equipment and run cable networks,” he said, noting that the Town has never restricted anyone from coming in. He pointed out that the cost of installing the infrastructure is likely the reason Mediacom is the only game in town as far as high-speed internet service.
• Councilman Frank Twardzik took a moment to thank Police Chief Ken McLaughlin for his dedication to training his staff. Twardzik’s wife, Colleen, had a medical emergency while the two were driving near the police station, where they then pulled in. Officers Troy Bowden, Brian Casselli, followed by McLaughlin, ran to their vehicle and began giving her medical attention.
“In my mind, [they] brought my wife back to life,” he said. “I’d like to publically thank Chief McLaughlin and Troy and Brian for their efforts, because without you my wife would not be sitting in this audience. So, I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’”
Voting reform has passed its next hurdle in Fenwick Island: the Charter & Ordinance Committee will recommend to the town council that the Town allow two votes per trust.
It all began in 2008, with a change to Fenwick Island’s town charter. Amidst other election updates, spouses of trustees lost their automatic right to vote. There was no election that year, and no one noticed or complained until 2015, when Fenwick Island had its next contested election. Suddenly, people didn’t know if they were allowed to vote or not.
After the confusion of 2015, Council Member Julie Lee led the charge for voting reform, leading the ad hoc Election Committee to draft recommendations for the Charter & Ordinance Committee.
“What we’re trying to do is reinstate votes for people who lost their votes when there was a charter change in 2007/2008. We’re not trying to give more votes to trusts,” said Lee. “We’re also trying to distinguish between people and artificial entities. Clearly LLCs, partnerships and corporations… I think we’re all in agreement that they should remain having one vote as an artificial entity. They did not have any votes at all prior to 2007/2008.”
Lee suggested they return to the language allowing votes for any “individual who holds property in trust or in deed.”
On July 7, the C&O Committee approved several proposals. They agreed that trusts should be allowed up to two votes (although they did clarify that the person voting must be a spouse or listed in the trust).
Properties held in deed would be allowed four votes (currently, there is no limit). Only a handful of properties in the town have more than two people on the deed, according to town staff.
LLCs, such as the gas station, would still get one vote.
Other rules are designed to prevent the voting eligibility from getting out of hand. Any household only gets four votes total (apart from residents, who are allowed to vote in their own right). And the “one person/one vote” mantra still holds true for all voters, so being a resident and a property owner (whether of that residence or another property) only entitles a person to vote once per election.
Bona fide residents of Fenwick Island are not impacted by the proposed changes. Whether a person owns or rents the place they live in Fenwick Island, full-time residents are guaranteed a vote.
Typically, in Fenwick Island, residential deeds are held in a person’s name or in a trust. A trust has trustees, beneficiaries and property.
“The trustee is technically the legal owner of the property … with strings attached,” Town Solicitor Mary Schreider-Fox had previously said.
The ad hoc Election Committee had recommended up to four votes per trust, but the C&O Committee compromised at two.
Fenwick Island is one of the many area beach towns where non-resident property owners can vote, unlike many inland communities. And non-resident property owners already outnumber residents on the town’s voter rolls. According to town staff, 158 residents are registered to vote, with a total of 499 registered voters.
“I personally feel no one is going to go through the legal expense to set up a trust … to get more votes in Fenwick Island,” Lee said.
“To me, you’re diluting the voting capabilities of the residents of this town,” Councilman Bill Weistling Jr. said. “I chose to make this my home.
“And any of the people you’re talking about — they have the opportunity to get as many votes as they want. Move to Fenwick Island. Declare your hometown and reside here.
“There are a lot of people that stay here three months a year, and then they’re gone. I live here full-time. I’m dedicated to this town. I’m not saying that [non-residents] are not dedicated. … I think you need to be very, very careful when you allow non-residents to vote.”
“In these small vote counts, one family can swing a vote,” agreed Councilman Bernie Merritt.
“Nobody wants to keep Fenwick limited and quiet more than I do,” Lee responded. “These are individuals whose families have been in town for decades.”
“But you also have a lot of new people coming in, buying houses,” Weistling countered. “I think we have to look to the future. I know what you’re trying to do for the past. … You can start playing a game with entities on how this is going to work.”
There are more than 100 types of trusts, Weistling said, including one that very closely resembles a traditional business.
Councilwoman Vicky Carmean said her goal was just simplicity, so everyone clearly understands the rules on election day.
Some committee members said they would have preferred even more stringent voting rules.
The C&O Committee has also approved an updated definition of “bona fide resident” to better match state law.
“There are some other possible changes to our Charter that we will be working on next, so we will probably wait until all are finalized before proceeding,” Weistling stated.
The town council could vote on the recommendation immediately or wait until all the proposed changes have been ironed out. The town solicitor will also review the proposed language.
Municipal charter changes must be approved by Delaware General Assembly, so Fenwick would need support from state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. and state Rep. Ron Gray to guide it through the legislature.
Atlantic General Hospital is among the less than 1 percent of U.S. hospitals to receive the 2017 Most Wired Hospital—Advanced distinction, bestowed by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum. Only two Maryland hospitals received the award, with Atlantic General Hospital being the only one on the Eastern Shore.
The awards are based on the results of the 19th Annual HealthCare’s Most Wired survey and benchmarking study. The survey examines how organizations are using information technology (IT) to improve healthcare delivery in the areas of quality and safety, clinical integration, infrastructure and business management.
The 27 hospitals nationwide who received the Most Wired—Advanced award were found to have exceeded core development in these four focus areas.
“Atlantic General has had the foresight to put some very innovative programs in place to improve quality and patient experience. Health IT has been there to help those programs operate more efficiently to provide the best care possible for our patients.” said Andrew Fowler, vice president of information services and CIO of Atlantic General Hospital. “This award is a reflection of the entire organization, not just IT efforts.”
According to the survey, more than 40 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure.
At Atlantic General, nurses in the Patient Centered Medical Home program reach out to patients identified as being at risk for hospital admission due to a variety of chronic conditions, to make sure they’re taking any prescribed medication properly and have scheduled — and plan to keep — the necessary follow up appointments with their doctors. The risk stratification is based upon key pieces of data within the patients’ electronic health records.
Since the survey was completed, the organization has taken the program a step further, providing remote monitoring and supportive care services to high-risk patients discharged from the hospital. For patients who qualify, a tablet computer, a connecting blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels in the blood, a blood glucose monitor and a scale to measure body weight are installed in the home.
Through daily monitoring and intervention from the care coordinators as needed, the program aims to provide a bridge from discharge to follow-up visits with the doctor to maintain health status and prevent readmission.
According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using telemedicine, or telehealth, to fill gaps in care, provide services 24/7, or expand access to medical specialists.
In addition to telehealth partnerships with the University of Maryland, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Sheppard Pratt to provide 24/7 monitoring of critical-care patients, outpatient developmental health services to pediatric patients and mental health services respectively, Atlantic General has partnered with Berlin Nursing & Rehabilitation Center to provide remote consultation services for patients discharged to the center for rehabilitation services. The program has reduced readmissions by 50 percent over a nine-month period.
Most recently, Atlantic General has entered into a telehealth partnership with University of Maryland Medical Center and their Greenebaum Cancer Center to provide patients and the oncologists at the Regional Cancer Care Center access to University of Maryland cancer specialists for consultations and care plans for more difficult cancer diagnoses.
The first to benefit from this telehealth partnership have been patients with lung nodules or suspected lung cancer who are connecting with thoracic surgeons at University of Maryland for pre- and post-operative consultations.
Other programs in place during the time of survey included biometric identification of patients during the registration process to improve patient safety and patient experience, secure texting for medical staff and clinicians for better communication, and sharing of secure electronic medical records through the Maryland and Delaware health information exchanges to facilitate regional care coordination of shared patient populations.
“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”
Detailed results of the HealthCare’s Most Wired survey and study can be found in the July issue of Health & Hospitals Networks. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com.
Beebe Healthcare now offers a support group for people living with heart failure.
The Heart to Heart Support Group is open to anyone who has heart failure and their caregivers. According to support group founder Lynn Toth, DNP, MSN, RN, NP-C, cardiovascular medical specialist at Beebe Healthcare, many people find support groups to be useful when coping with the emotional aspects of their condition.
“People are comforted with the knowledge that they are not alone in their anxiety,” Toth said. “Our support group is a useful source of information for anyone who has heart failure or anyone who is caring for someone with heart failure.”
The support group meets the second Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. in the Cardiovascular Conference Room at Beebe’s main campus in downtown Lewes. For more information on the group, contact Lynn Toth at (302) 542-6334.
To view upcoming health events or for a full list of support groups, go to www.beebehealthcare.org/calendar.
The 3rd Annual Coastal Delaware Running Festival in April hosted more than 3,500 runners, thousands of fans, and dozens of volunteers. The Coastal Delaware Running Festival, a Focus Muiltisports event, has been designated a State of Delaware Championship event by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and a Boston Marathon-qualifying race. The weekend celebration of race-related activities was a fundraiser for several charities.
The most recent donation, of $5,000, was made by John Wiley II, president of Peninsula Oil, to Autism Delaware.
“We have been serving Delmarva for more than 80 years, and it is our privilege and pleasure to give back to the community who has supported us in our business. Our five-year partnership with Focus Multisports has resulted in $20,000 for Autism Delaware to continue their great work, with hopefully more to come in the future!” said Wiley.
“At Focus Multisports, we believe in the power of philanthropy. We believe in the partnership between for-profit businesses and the non-profit sector. Our alliances strengthen local organizations and provide businesses with a platform to give back. I would say such collaborations are ‘win/win,’” said Race Directors Ernie Felici and Rick Hundley.
The date of the 4th Annual Coastal Delaware Running Festival is April 20-22, 2018. Registration and sponsorship opportunities are now available.
In addition to Autism Delaware, the Coastal Delaware Running Festival was a fundraiser for local charities including Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation, Autism Speaks, Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, Rehoboth Beach Sunrise Rotary Club, Rehoboth YMCA Swim Team, Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park, Fort Miles Historical Association, Friends of Holts Landing State Park, MERR Foundation, Sussex Central Track & Field, Seashore Striders Youth Running Club, Delaware State Police Troop 7 Exploring Post, Preston’s March For Energy and Sussex Academy Cross Country Team.