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- 05/29/14--12:26: _IR students climb S...
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- 05/29/14--12:58: _Designs for Bethany...
- 05/29/14--13:12: _Ocean View looks to...
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- 06/05/14--15:00: _TRAFFIC ALERT: DelD...
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- 06/05/14--22:28: _Liddy Loves Clothes...
- 06/05/14--22:34: _Indian River High S...
- 06/05/14--22:44: _Frankford residents...
- 05/29/14--12:26: IR students climb STEM to architecture and engineering
- 05/29/14--12:55: Lincoln and Delaware: Never a warm relationship
- 05/29/14--12:58: Designs for Bethany Beach Ocean Suites unveiled
- 05/29/14--13:12: Ocean View looks to welcome in unincorporated areas
- 05/29/14--13:14: Beau Monde brings beach eclectic surf style to Village of Fenwick
- 05/29/14--13:44: Wine and beer tasting to raise money for Rotary Club
- 05/29/14--13:46: Cornhole tournament to benefit Russell White scholarship
- 05/29/14--13:51: Dagsboro accident a reminder to stay alert
- 05/29/14--13:58: County examines impact of Supreme Court ruling on prayer
- 05/29/14--13:59: Summer season begins, Streetscape winds down
- 05/29/14--14:00: Collins files to make a run at District 41 representative seat
- 05/29/14--14:55: TRAFFIC ALERT: DelDOT announces Route 26 roadwork for June 2 to 6
- 06/05/14--15:00: TRAFFIC ALERT: DelDOT announces Route 26 roadwork for June 9 to 13
- 06/05/14--22:20: Gym offers fitness to the world in new location
- 06/05/14--22:20: Seaside Craft Show set for 10th edition
- 06/05/14--22:28: Liddy Loves Clothes and color in Clarksville
- 06/05/14--22:34: Indian River High School graduates 45th class in Dagsboro
- 06/05/14--22:44: Frankford residents dispute legalities of charter amendment
Many of today’s K-12 students are preparing for jobs that don’t even exist yet. As technology catapults forward, Indian River High School is pulling the lever with a pre-engineering pathway for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
Only two years old, the four-year STEM pathway is aimed at preparing students for a new level of technology and design in their college and careers.
“I like creating things,” said freshman Joseph Ciriello, who joined STEM after being inspired by a family friend who works in mechanical engineering. In the design-heavy course Introduction to Engineering Design, he’s ready to start building, but the students are first learning the computer programs that will propel them to the next step.
They did a reverse-engineering project, starting with the finished product and ending with a design. Students dismantle an object — such as a pen — sketch every component, measure every piece and enter each dimension into the computer to produce an exact 3-D drawing. That includes the tightness of each spring, thickness of each cap and angle of each slope.
“They get to see how an object works and how could it be improved,” said teacher Allen Timmons. It also gives them a sense of “how things fit together … an idea of how to get started” when they eventually build their own items.
Their designs could come to life with IR’s 3-D printer, which prints tiny layers of plastic, one atop another, to form an exact replica of a tangible item (versus a 2-D printer, which prints a two-dimensional image).
Ninth-graders saw the printer in action firsthand with challenge involving a puzzle cube, which they had to design completely. Usually made of wood, the solid cube is made of five interlocking pieces, and they were allowed to print one piece.
The cube must lock together when assembled but be simple enough for children to solve.
“It’s hard to make an easy puzzle,” said Ciriello. “You have to try to think the way they would.”
But it was his favorite project, he said, since “it was physical … something that we got to build.”
Now, they’re on the computer regularly.
Before the computer design even began, students spent months working mostly on paper. They sketched manufactured items, such as phones or cups, focusing on line, shadow and shape. “You can tell it got better,” said ninth-grader Sara Saylor, flipping through old sketches.
Saylor plans to translate STEM to a biomedical career, perhaps building artificial limbs.
“This is my way to help people,” said Saylor, who interested in medicine, but not eager to see blood.
What was the biggest surprise for her? “I’m the only girl!” she said. But that’s OK, because she enjoys the course. “It is [awesome]. I like it a lot,” Saylor said.
“It’s just something different. I felt I would like engineering,” said sophomore Gunnar Moldrik, who took a construction class but wanted take it to next step.
“It’s a great pathway,” he said, working on the Inventor computer software. “This is teaching me dimension.”
STEM isn’t just computers, though. Kids are learning to think differently and problem-solve.
“A plus B doesn’t always equal C,” Timmons said when the program began in 2012. Students must be open-minded and try different solutions. “They’re going to have to think outside the box.”
That matters, whether they’re building a simple paper bridge or whole new invention.
“You’re exploring it with them. You’re a facilitator,” said teacher John Milspaw. “You want to let them figure it out. It can be frustrating” not to have one correct answer. “But it’s better when they figure it out on their own.”
The original STEM students are finishing their second year in the program, now learning with Milspaw in Principles of Engineering for computer programing and robotics.
Just programming each sensor can be tricky. But Milspaw said “the big wow” comes when the students actually build working robots. Kids might own a remote-control car, but they’ve probably never created a machine with a claw that picks things up. Until now.
“I let ’em explore,” said Milspaw, noting that he enjoys project-based learning. “It’s definitely a lot of fun.”
STEM was introduced as a Selbyville Middle School exploratory program, allowing students to dip their toes into the fields for one marking period. It also created a feeder program for Indian River High School.
IRHS staff wanted to create a real impact, so they asked local professionals where the classes should lead, based on job opportunity and community needs. So architecture and civil engineering is the “best fit” for Year Three, Timmons said.
The senior capstone project will have students creating and presenting a new product to a board of engineers. They’ll do the research, build a prototype and test it. Nationwide, some students have even earned patents for their senior capstone projects.
They can also get college credit during high school. Every spring, students submit their project notebook and take a national test. If they pass, they could get credit for a full college course, one course per year. (Last year, only a few students didn’t get credit, Timmons said.) It’s an advanced program.
“My sister is in college for engineering and doing same stuff we are,” Saylor said.
IRHS is part of a national STEM program, Project Lead the Way. That means classrooms across the country are learning the same curriculum. So if a student moved to New England, she could continue learning almost at the same place and still submit her notebook for credit.
Federal funding paid for IR’s program and training, though Race to the Top.
IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting said the decision to begin STEM began with today’s elementary students.
“So many of the jobs that they will be able to — I hope — qualify for when they graduate have not yet been invented. That is staggering to me, that we really have to up the ante, that our students have to be ready for what comes next.”
Delaware’s sea and the land it surrounds could change shape by the year 2100, which means now it the time to discuss legal ramifications. Law professor Kenneth Kristl led a workshop last week as part of an effort to start public conversation on how Delaware could develop a comprehensive sea-level rise strategy. The Inland Bays Foundation hosted him May 15 in Bethany Beach.
“The citizens of Delaware have to start thinking: Where do we want to put our effort? How do we want to spend our money?” Kristl said. “This is enormously complex and, yet, it has practical consequences for anybody that’s living along the coast.”
Kristl and students authored the report “Assessing the Legal Toolbox for Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Delaware: Options and Challenges for Regulators, Policymakers, Property Owners and the Public.”
“It is a roadmap for how to confront some of the obstacles that exist in … sea-level rise adaptation.”
The book doesn’t recommend “Tool A” instead of Tool B,” but lays out the facts of existing policies and challenges. Kristl received a grant to write the 188-page report, begin public outreach and start the public conversation.
First, Kristl emphasized, sea-level rise is happening even if people don’t believe in overall climate change.
Up to 11 percent of Delaware’s land mass could be underwater by the year 2100 due to sea-level rise, and 81 to 99 percent of all coastal wetlands could be inundated, according to the Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee. (The SLRAC also studied how many businesses, sewage plants, fire stations, evacuation routes, freshwater reserves, farmland acres and more would be affected.)
“That’s a significant impact, because that stuff’s going to be underwater,” Kristl said. “That’s just on a clear, calm day. Storm surge would be on top of that. Storm surge is high water, and water goes farther [inland].”
A storm could pile several more feet on top of that, as happened with South Bethany’s storm surge during Hurricane Sandy, which wrought water damage on about 800 homes.
Kristl discussed the legal side of what could happen and the political side of who is responsible.
Plenty of coastal land is privately owned. But as land shifts under a body of water, the State will claim ownership.
“You might own lands that become submerged. But what are you going to do with it?” Kristl asked. “With the sea always rising, the owners of coastal property have to confront a reality: ‘I’m not going to be able to use the land that was once dry and is now inundated,’” he said, “‘and depending on what my deed says, I may not even own it anymore.’”
Delaware has four options to respond to the threat: do nothing, protect the shoreline, accommodate the rising water or retreat.
“I’m not here to tell you what… but we’ve got to do one of these, or a combination of them,” Kristl said.
People even have to figure out who makes that decision, whether it should be left to individuals or led by the government (county, state or local). Governmental bodies have various powers that could soften the legal blow of losing privately owned land to the rising sea.
Kristl’s report weighed the eight options of zoning, land acquisition/buyback, building restrictions and prohibitions, setbacks and buffers, conservation easements on vulnerable property, rolling easements on ever-changing properties, real estate disclosures and transferable development credits — which trade the right to develop on sensitive land with rights to less vulnerable areas.
Each option has pros and cons. And, in all of the choices, government must balance public demands, private interests and costs.
For instance, coastal residents need a road to access their homes. But what about the road that washes away in every storm?
Kristl recalled hearing a DelDOT employee say, “There’s a point at which it just doesn’t make sense to [rebuild] anymore. … All the money we put in to maintenance gets washed away with the next storm.”
DelDOT could also cease maintenance and “return” the road to the county or municipality, but that, too, has political consequences.
Audience members at the May 15 presentation discussed issues involving small islands sinking in the inland bays, homeowners associations and more.
“The people of Delaware have to figure out ‘This is what we want to do.’ It has to be, ‘We’ve adapted. We’re ready for when the seas rise,’” Kristl asserted.
“[With] more discussion, people can feel their voice is heard and hear what the other side saying,” he added. “‘This sounds like a reasonable compromise.’”
That will create a united front in moving forward, he said. Discussions will need to happen long before a unified plan is developed in future years.
“If we just let the sea impose its will on us, we may regret not taking the opportunity to have that discussion,” Kristl warned.
Encouraging people to even act is a big step, he noted. It’s hard to see something that will flow slowly over 100 years, so they’re less likely to feel urgent action is needed. Plus “inertia is a powerful force,” so usually something must shock people into action. That something might be another hurricane or lawsuit.
Courts may also set the path, Kristl said. He noted that he had read about insurers suing the City of Chicago and surrounding towns, alleging the governmental bodies had failed to increase the capacity of stormwater management, despite evidence of increased rainfall, causing huge sewage backups.
Through litigation to clean up Delaware bays, said ILB Board President Ron Wuslich, 11 agricultural standards have been written, 10 of which make compliance voluntary. Rules written to prepare or improve things may require litigation but may still take a long time.
Some people may be willing to pay for the extra risk, and that’s another variable. For decades, many people had a discounted insurance rate through the federally subsidized National Flood Insurance Plan. But claims piled up with the storms, and the NFIP has gone into the red by billions of dollars.
The Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 was designed to ensure property owners pay their fair share, to make the insurance agency more solvent. But some property owners were horrified to see their payments increase tenfold. As a result, Congress recently repealed parts of that act, to ease the payment pain. But the deficit remains.
“That’s a very concrete example of the choices we’ll have to make,” Kristl said. “Who should bear the risk? Who should pay the cost?”
Kristl’s full report will be posted for free online in June, at www.widenerELC.org.
The Inland Bays Foundation is a private non-profit advocating restoration of the Inland Bays watershed by conducting public education, tracking restoration efforts, encouraging scientific inquiry and sponsoring research, to establish a long-term process for the protection and enhancement of the Inland Bays.
“We want bays full of crabs and full of fish,” said Wuslich. “We want to wade along the shore and see our feet, and we don’t want to get sick after swimming or waterskiing.
In June 1848, long before the Civil War, a congressman from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln stopped in Wilmington, Del., on his way back to Washington from a Whig Party convention in Philadelphia. Lincoln, along with three of his fellow congressmen — including Delaware’s James W. Houston — gave a speech in favor of presidential candidate Zachary Taylor.
As noted in the Lincoln Institute’s online article “Abraham Lincoln and Delaware,” Lincoln was introduced to the audience as the “lone Star of Illinois.” He gave “an eloquent and patriotic speech on some of the principles of the Whig party” and cited “the abuse of power” of the James K. Polk administration for the “manner in which [it] carried on the Mexican war [which] should condemn it … before the whole people.”
Lincoln would never again come to the state of Delaware. In response to an invitation from a group of Delaware citizens for the Republican president-elect (the Whig Party having faded from the scene) to stop in Delaware in 1861, Lincoln diplomatically declined because of other commitments.
“I feel highly flattered by the encomiums you have seen fit to bestow upon me … [and] have carried with me a fond remembrance of the hospitalities of the city [of Wilmington]” from his earlier visit.
As president, Lincoln would be the target of some of the same censure for abuse of power and his conduct of the Civil War as he had bestowed on President Polk. Delawareans would be among the most vocal critics in this regard.
As a Southern slave state that nonetheless chose to remain in the Union, Delaware rejected Lincoln’s presidential candidacy, and instead gave its three electoral votes to John Breckinridge who carried the banner of the Southern Democrats. This reflected the political divide within the state that remained anti-secessionist, while adopting an ardent Southern allegiance and aversion to the mostly Northern-sponsored abolitionist movement.
In 1862, while the Civil War was well under way, Lincoln sought a means to end the violence. In his political history of Delaware during the Civil War, Harold Bell Hancock writes that the president proposed to Delaware that it lead the way in ending slavery in America via a federal plan to purchase the freedom of every slave in the state.
While Delaware slave owners were receptive, the anti-Lincoln legislature voted it down and issued a statement: “When the people of Delaware desire to abolish slavery … they will do so in their own way … beyond the reach of … improper interference and solicitations [by outsiders such as President Lincoln].”
Hancock points out that the dichotomy of political thought in Delaware was reflected in Kent and Sussex counties favoring the South, and they “criticized the Lincoln government for beginning the war and for attacking the South.” In New Castle, on the other hand — which was tied to the North politically and economically — “Union feeling outweighed all other … [The people were] inclined to rally around the flag … and to defend the state.”
Later in the war and prior to the 1864 presidential election, with Lincoln running for a second term, feeling in the upper county toward the president was “less enthusiastic.” Serious doubts existed about his chances for reelection, given that the war had dragged on with no end in sight with massive losses in men and treasure.
The Republican governor of Delaware, William Cannon, raised serious questions: Is Lincoln’s reelection a possibility? Can he carry Delaware? Would our interests be served by substituting another candidate?
The answers soon came, when Union victories on the battlefield in mid- and late-1864 — especially the psychological boost gained with Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s capture of Atlanta and the subsequent March to the Sea — dramatically changed the mood in the North, leading to Lincoln’s victory in the November election.
A tragic ending to this second term took place on April 14, 1865, when John Wilkes Booth assassinated the president at Ford’s Theater in Washington. According to “Delaware History,” April 1961 issue, a woman in Wilmington wrote in her diary, “No man since [George] Washington has ever received so universal a feeling of personal affection as Lincoln ….”
Conversely, Hancock wrote that some Delawareans thought “the news was the best that [they] had heard in four years, [and] believed that [Lincoln] should have been assassinated long ago ….” This reaction stemmed from the fact that a majority of Delawareans never warmed to the Lincoln presidency and his decisions as commander in chief during the war, despite the fact that many still respected him as a person.
Bethany Beach resident Thomas J. Ryan is the author of “Essays on Delaware during the Civil War: A Political, Military and Social Perspective” (available at Bethany Beach Books or from his website, at www.tomryan-civilwar.com). Contact him at email@example.com.
Developer Jack Burbage unveiled a vision of the future Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel at the town council meeting on Friday, May 23, and he asked the council to help him make that vision a reality with some accommodations on occupancy, sidewalk costs and permit fees.
At the meeting, Burbage offered two freshly minted conceptual drawings of the hotel that he plans to replace the former Bethany Arms Motel, which was recently torn down to make way for the envisioned flagship oceanfront hotel.
The first drawing depicted a suite-style two-bed hotel room, with coastal-themed decorative touches including a coral-patterned rug and wave-patterned lamp, as well as an eating area, sofa and chair, and balcony-style doors and tall windows.
The second shows what the hotel’s lobby could look like, with clusters of upholstered chairs and sofas, beadboard wainscoting, plentiful windows featuring white trim, a brick fireplace accented with jellyfish adornments, coffered ceiling and historic black-and-white photographs.
In addressing the council, Burbage first offered his thanks to the mayor, town council, town manager and property owners “for your support of our beautiful hotel.” He then went on to describe some “challenging opportunities we have” in regards to bringing the project to life.
Burbage first took on the issue of the 460-person capacity the Town has established for the facility, based on the parking that is planned to be available there.
“That’s a solid number to which we all agree,” he noted, before asking the council to consider using a daily head count to determine whether the hotel is meeting or exceeding that capacity, as opposed to a “heads-in-the-beds count.”
Burbage expressed concern that the Marriott corporate requirement for its Residence Inn brand hotels to have pull-out sofas in each suite could result in limiting the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites’ ability to rent a room to some customers if the “heads-in-the-beds” count were to include the sofas’ capacities.
He said Marriott feels the lack of the pull-out sofas would be a detriment to guest satisfaction scores in the hotel’s market, particularly as families traveling with children look for the sofas when deciding where to book a room. Amidst the inch-thick manuals for specifications for Residence Inn rooms and hotel lobbies, he said, the sofas are just one of the requirements, which include corporate approval of minutiae as detailed as lamp base styles.
If the Ocean Suites is to follow that requirement for the pull-out sofas, he said, it could result in a situation in which the hotel could fill all of its oceanfront rooms — which would have room for six people in the two queen beds and sleeper sofa — but only have two people sleeping in a given room.
Were the demand for oceanfront rooms to bring the hotel close to the 460-person capacity by virtue of how many people could sleep there — but not necessarily how many planned to — Burbage said, they could be forced to turn away a family of six, just because the rooms off the oceanfront have a capacity of four people.
With that in mind, Burbage asked the council to reconsider how the 460-person capacity would be counted, offering to have the hotel management company provide an actual per-day head count of guests to the Town, as frequently as desired, to prove it is complying with the limitation. The management company, he said, is highly regarded by Marriot and “could not allow anything foolish to happen” in regards to the honesty of the head count, “or they could lose their agreement with Marriot.”
Burbage noted that the hotel will already have to prepare a daily count of how many people (adults, children and infants) are in the hotel, as it will offer free breakfast and has to be able to accommodate actual hotel occupancy for breakfast service.
Without the ability to look at numbers other than the bed capacity including sleeper sofas, Burbage said, the hotel’s room availability would be unnecessarily limited and potentially hurt its viability. On the other hand, if forced to eliminate the pull-out sofas to meet the Town’s stated capacity limit for the hotel, he added, the hotel couldn’t be a Marriott- or Hilton-branded facility.
“Otherwise, we’d be looking at a La Quinta or someone else who would allow us to have it,” he said of sofa-less rooms.
Councilman Lew Killmer asked what enforcement options the Town might have if the hotel exceeded the 460-person limit.
“It won’t,” Burbage replied firmly of potential occupancy excesses. “You could fine us $1,000 or $5,000 or $10,000, because it won’t happen. There isn’t enough money in the world for Marriott not to meet what they’ve agreed to.”
Councilwoman Margaret Young remained skeptical.
“I have a lot of trouble believing that you would not rent” between 20 and 35 rooms, she calculated, “because you’re up to 460.”
“A lot of these rooms will have just two people in them,” Burbage reiterated, leading Mayor Jack Gordon to express concerns that the presentation from Burbage was becoming a discussion or debate with council members, which the town solicitor and town manager said that, due to notice requirements, would have to be something placed on an agenda for a future meeting.
Burbage said the hotel could provide the Town with a daily head count on the following day or when the occupancy reached a certain number. Both companies, he said, “are truly professional people, and if they have a mandate to go by, they’re not going to exceed it. It’s just not worth it.”
Councilwoman Rosemary Hardiman also asked whether the hotel would continue to accept reservations once it reserved rooms for 460 people, and Burbage said they would not.
The second challenge Burbage said he hoped the Town would help him with involves sidewalks around the facility.
“I realize there are many ways you can determine the costs, but I’m asking, because of the costs being so great, if you would consider splitting them 50/50,” he told the council.
Finally, Burbage also asked the council to reconsider the permit fees it has established for the CL-1 Commercial Lodging district, citing the permit fees alone for the Ocean Suites as potentially exceeding $345,000. He noted that his recently completed Residence Inn in Chincoteague, Va., had permit fees of $13,613.26 for its 92 rooms, all of which are suites.
“This project will be not quite twice as expensive to build,” he said, adding that a comparable permit fee for the Bethany project, as determined by cost of construction, would be $26,000.
He suggested the Town look at assessing a permit fee of 3 percent on the first $4 million of construction cost, 2 percent on the next $4 million and 1 percent on any remaining cost, resulting in roughly $265,000 in permit fees for the Ocean Suites project.
“When these fees were established, no one ever thought a multi-million-dollar project would be talked about,” he said. “You can only spend so much on a project and be profitable,” he added. “The money has to come from somewhere.”
Additionally, Burbage asked the Town to consider allowing developers to establish a payment plan for the fees. “That’s a lot of money to pay,” he said, “for a review of the plans,” among other permitting functions performed by the Town. He had suggested a four-year payment plan, depending on what the total cost might be.
Town Manager Cliff Graviet said the town solicitor could draft an agreement to that effect if the town council wanted to consider the idea and the Town would pass any draft along to Burbage to see if it was also acceptable to him.
“Whatever your decisions, I appreciate all your help, and I look forward to sharing a beautiful hotel that we’ll all be very proud of, in our special one-of-a-kind town,” Burbage concluded.
June 20 hearing set on
Dealing with a separate but related issue, the council at their May 23 meeting also voted unanimously to give notice to property owners that the Town is proposing to construct new curbs, sidewalks and more in the ocean block of Hollywood Street, alongside the hotel.
The town charter requires it to schedule a public hearing when considering laying or installing of new sidewalks, curbs or gutters or maintenance of existing ones. With their vote, the council formally set the public hearing on the Hollywood Street project for 1 p.m. on June 20, at which time the council can deal with issues such as costs and who will bear those costs, estimated at roughly $75,000 to $100,000.
Graviet said the project would also involve moving the Town’s old testing wells located near the beach bulkhead. He noted that there are at least two potential designs for the sidewalks, streets and parking areas, impacted by the zero-setback element of the Town’s commercial zoning.
He explained that the new CL-1 zoning on the larger northern parcel for the Ocean Suites made the setbacks for the building a null, as was already the case with the Bethany Arms and commercial properties in the C-1 commercial zone. When the southern parcel was also rezoned to CL-1, that property also received a zero setback.
However, he added, the Office of the State Fire Marshal requires a 15-foot open area, as much as possible, in front of any buildings, so that fire companies can access buildings with their equipment.
“They usually hang fairly tough with that,” Graviet added. “And most of the time the 15-foot setback is borne by the property owner, and the Town works to optimize parking, especially on the ocean-side streets where parking is at a premium.”
Graviet said the Town’s architect had come back with a concept that would provide at least a dozen parking spaces on the “very busy and very narrow street,” with a wide driveway opening on the south side of the street and a 20-foot opening on the north side (the maximum allowed by the Town).
Under Burbage’s alternative proposal, Graviet explained, there are still a dozen parking spaces, but “no setbacks of any consequence,” with sidewalks on the north and south sides of the street on Town property. He said Burbage’s proposal was designed so the street would absorb the setbacks so that the required interior parking spaces needed to meet the hotel’s parking requirement were possible.
“Without that, it brings the room count down to a point where,” he said, Burbage asserted the hotel project was “no longer viable — hence the need to build up to the setbacks” and the need to accommodate the 15-foot setbacks in the Town-owned area.
Graviet said the June 20 public hearing will include a number of additional renditions of the possible street design, as well as an opportunity to discuss what the Town wants to do at the street end adjacent to the boardwalk.
Both the Town’s and Burbage’s concepts, he said, were, as yet, “very preliminary” in terms of what the landscape engineer might recommend, and the issue of who will bear the expense of the new sidewalks will also be discussed. Rising to $100,000, the cost of the walks would include “significant paver work,” he noted.
Graviet said the council could determine at the June 20 hearing or a subsequent meeting whether they want to proceed with the project.
The Town of Ocean View is looking to invite communities in the unincorporated areas within the town and just outside its borders to apply to be annexed into the town.
“What we would like to do is regularize our Town’s outline,” explained Councilman Bob Lawless. “There are areas within the present geographic limits of political Ocean View that are not in our town, like Lord Baltimore Landing, right next to the Melson building. It is not in the political town of Ocean View.
“They have an Ocean View post office address. They’re right next to our administrative and police headquarters, but they’re not in our town. That doesn’t make any sense — not to me, anyway.”
Lawless said that, due to the Town’s past reputation, there were many developments that did not request to be annexed into the town.
“There was a time in ancient history when the Town of Ocean View was unwelcoming to new folks coming in. We missed opportunities along the line to say to these people, ‘While you’re building this development, why don’t you come join our town?’” he said. “There were hurdles placed in front of developers that kind of turned them off. Now we’re saying, we look at our town’s map and it is absolutely insane. It looks like you took a bowl of Jell-O and tried to nail it to the wall. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
Communities that Lawless said the Town is looking at include Forest Reach, Summerville, Lord Baltimore Landing and Providence.
“They should be in our town, and at some point in the not too distant past, they wanted to be in our town. Let’s reach out to them, and to Summerville and to Providence and a whole bunch of others — all along Muddy Neck — that are contiguous with the town, and are part of the established comprehensive land-use growth area, reach out to them and say, ‘Hey, guys — let’s talk.’”
Lawless said that those communities that would agree to be annexed into the town would receive a number of benefits from joining Ocean View proper.
“What you get when you become part of our political town is our cops become intensely knowledgeable about your community. Ocean View PD goes through my community — I live in Wedgefield — twice a day. They’re not doing house-to-house door-knocking, but they’re looking every day a couple of times,” said Lawless.
“Every cop is through every community in our town every day. They don’t do that in Lord Baltimore; they should. They don’t do it in Forest Reach; I would like them to.”
Lawless said that the town’s police department is a huge asset and offers critical protection to its citizens.
“If, presently, someone that’s part of a community that is not in our town were to call the Ocean View Police Department and say, ‘I heard something three doors away,’ our police department would say call 911 and SusCom (Sussex County emergency dispatch service) would dispatch someone to you.
“If I called OVPD and said, ‘I’ve got a problem,’ there would be a cop within my door within 180 seconds at the outside. It’s really nice, because our cops are not only trained law enforcement officials — they have defibrillators, and they’re very knowledgeable of first aid. That’s what you get with our police department. We say to other communities, ‘Our cops will be all over your community every day.’”
Communities would also get the benefits of the Town’s Public Works Department.
“When we annex a community, we own their streets. We would undertake for them the maintenance and repair of their streets in perpetuity.”
A huge perk of the Public Works Department, said Lawless, was their plowing of roads during various area snowstorms.
“Everybody in an HoA has looked at this past year and gone, ‘Holy guacamole! We spent a lot of money pushing snow around,’ and they did,” he said. “I don’t know what they paid to have Sam from the garden center push snow off their roads, but I assure you it wasn’t inexpensive. If you join us, that’s what you get for your tax dollars.”
Lawless recognized that some of the communities’ roads will not meet standards under Town code; however, he said the Town would work to welcome in any community.
“We’ll have to look at them and say, ‘In order for us to take this, we’re going to have to work something out,’ but those things are open for discussion. Just about anything is open to discussion,” he said. “The fees and costs involved are going to be minimized, but we want you to be a part of our town.”
Lawless said the Town is looking to welcome in whole communities, rather than just individuals.
“We’re not trying to do this on an individual-by-individual basis but community by community. If you live in Summerville or Bethany Breeze and think, ‘Gee, I think it’s a really good idea for us to do this,’ get a hold of your property manager or homeowners association, suggest it to them. If enough of you within a community want to do this, we will work our buns off to make it happen,” he said.
He added that an entire community does not need to agree to join the town in order to become residents.
“If more than 50 percent of residents wanted to join Ocean View, we have a way of doing that, and that makes life so much easier. In my development, we have 90 homes. I can’t get 90 people to agree that the sun comes up in the east.”
Lawless said the Town has been working on the idea through a committee, comprising himself, Councilman Tom Sheeran, Town Manager Dianne Vogel and Town Administrative Official Charles McMullen.
“We’re now trying to figure out, ‘Here’s our will to do this. What do we do next?’” said Lawless. “We want to make sure we have what we have to sell, and prepared to give, and what we need to give them, really clear in our minds, and then we ought to go out to those communities. Maybe we ought to advertise. Maybe lots of stuff. It’s not clear yet. We just know we want to do it.”
Currently, they are discussing what would be the best way to advertise their intentions of welcoming communities into the town, and Lawless added that council members would be willing to speak to homeowners associations and give presentations to those who are interested.
Although the effort is in the beginning stages, Lawless said he hopes unincorporated areas of Sussex County that are in enclaves of Ocean View or on the town’s outskirts will consider applying to be annexed in.
“I think there’s going to be some skepticism, but let’s open the door and talk. If the people from a homeowners association want to get together at any time, call me, call the office, call anybody, and we’ll figure out a way to sit down and talk about it. There’s nothing to be lost by anybody making an approach saying, ‘Let’s talk.’”
Communities interested in joining the town of Ocean View can call the town administrative offices, at (302) 539-9797.
Surfer style is emulated and copied widely by those finding their lifestyle aspects ripe for imitation. It’s for such reasons that mainstream surf companies have enjoyed steady success for years — but a change has come.
New companies are starting to pop up, with new visions and wild styles that promise to allow today’s surfer to regain his lost individualism. The unknown and companies unafraid to be bold are king.
Surf shop buyer/merchandiser Caitlyn Parrott has been in the industry long enough to recognize the change, and recently opened up Beau Monde boutique in the Village of Fenwick, designed for those looking for clothing that can’t be found in any old surf shop or the nearest Urban Outfitters.
“All the guys that I worked with that worked at the shop and actually surfed would buy the weirdest stuff that we would get,” Parrott said. “I tried to pick some more unusual brands that they don’t have everywhere around here.”
The shop carries brands for both men and women, including Catch Surf, Rhythm, Wildfox, Lovers & Friends, Kai, Iron & Resin and Duvin Design Co., that most surf shops or vintage clothing stores either don’t carry or of which they don’t carry a wide variety.
“I was raised up at the beach and in surf shops, so I’m drawn to that kind of stuff,” Parrott explained of her eye for unique beach style. “I was looking for something a little more unusual than most shops.”
Not only does the boutique carry clothing, but it also sells vinyl records and a wide variety of beach-related accessories. Nixon watches, Vestal, Filtrate and Schwood Wooden Sunglasses, all-organic suncare, lotions and candles are just a few of the other products available that won’t be found many other places.
“They’re super-lightweight, and they’re made in America,” Parrott said of Schwood. “They’re from Oregon. They make sunglasses all carved out of wood.”
Most of the products found in the shop are made in the United States — something upon which Parrott is proud to be able to base her business practices. When it comes to the suncare and lotions, she makes sure what she carries is all-natural and organic.
“Coola is all organic suncare out of San Diego — no parabens,” she described of the synthetic-preservative-free products. “They call it farm-to-face. It’s different sunscreens, lotions, lip balm, after-sunburn recovery. I also carry Archipelago candles, which is a Los Angeles company, and they do candles and body wash, body lotion.”
Staying on top of the latest fashion trends and newest products and companies is something that Parrott is not only good at, but passionate about. An artist and photographer herself, she has a keen eye for style and aesthetics, and the industry experience to back it up.
“In college, I chose to focus on the cultural studies division. I did all my senior work on brand identity theory,” she explained, after noting how people tend to be visual creatures. “I knew I wanted to be in fashion. I knew I didn’t want to live in New York. I went out to Chicago for a little while. I went out to L.A. for a little while.”
After stints in those fashion-focused cities, Parrott returned home to combine what she had learned and seen with her extensive experience merchandising and buying for surf shops and to incorporate it into her new boutique. She spent the winter building dressing rooms and display cases for local and vintage costume jewelry, and painted the shop as uniquely as the clothing that it carries — highlighting her work with song lyrics displayed across top of the store walls.
In the future, she plans to start printing her own T-shirts and clothing using her own designs and will, of course, continue to bring in all the latest brands, keeping Beau Monde’s offerings fresh and unique.
To find out more about Beau Monde, visit their website at www.beaumondestyle.com or give them a call at (302) 539-3830. The shop is located at 300 Coastal Highway, Store #4, in Fenwick Island. They’re also on Instagram and on Twitter @beaumondestyle, as well as on Pinterest. The shop is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the summer.
This Saturday, beer and wine lovers will have the opportunity to sample some tasty libations, for the sake of a good cause. On Saturday, May 31, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Southern Sussex Rotary will host a craft beer and wine tasting at Costa Ventosa Vineyard & Winery near Whaleyville, Md.
“This is our first event as a wine tasting. We’ve never done this before. We’re trying to branch out and try new things,” explained Brendan Garfield Crotty, head of PR and marketing for the Southern Sussex Rotary. “A couple of the club members were brainstorming… We just wanted to branch out, thought we’d do a spring event, and this was one of the ideas that came up.”
Tickets to the event costs $15 per person, for a choice of a craft beer tasting or wine tasting, as well as hors d’oeuvres. During the evening, attendees will have the chance to win a 50/50 raffle and a basket of cheer.
“Cole Haden will also be performing and providing entertainment for the evening,” said Crotty.
The event, which had sold approximately 50 tickets as of early this week, will benefit the Jackie Pavik RYLA Scholarship Foundation, Easter Seals and other local Rotary projects.
“Jackie’s mother was becoming president of our Rotary Club when [Jackie] passed away. Many Rotarians wanted to do something. Jackie wanted to go to our Rotary Youth Leadership Awards,” explained Crotty. “RYLA is a two-day leadership program for kids who are in high school. The goal of that is that they come out with tools to help them become leaders in their school, college, and use those tools in society.
“The goal of that scholarship when we are fully funded is to send one to two high school students every year to RYLA,” he noted. “The scholarship is honoring her memory and a long-term commitment and project for us.”
Crotty said Southern Sussex Rotary currently has more than a dozen members and is actively involved in the community in various aspects.
“Every year, we give dictionaries for third-graders. We did that last fall but added one other component: we donated Spanish-English dictionaries to 50 kids in the Spanish-immersion program at John M. Clayton,” he said. He said that, in past programs dictionaries had been donated for an adult English-as-a-second-language program, “and we had some extra ones. My son is in the emersion program, and when the idea was brought up, I thought it was an awesome idea.”
The Rotary also donates camper-ships to Boy Scouts and Camp Farley, as well the Delaware Burn Camp at Camp Barnes. The club rings the bell for the Salvation Army during Christmastime and distributes homemade cookies to area police officers.
“We are looking and applying for a grant to do our second beach-accessible wheelchair this year. We haven’t received the grant yet, but it would be a handicapped accessible wheelchair that would be on the Fenwick beach,” added Crotty, noting that the Rotary was able to donate another wheelchair five years ago through a similar grant.
Rotary is a world-wide organization whose purpose is development of fellowship and understanding among the business and professional men and women in a community, the promotion of community betterment, high standards in business and professional practices, and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.
According to its website, “The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprises and, in particular, to encourage and foster the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; high ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations as an opportunity to serve society; the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”
Those who are interested in joining the Southern Sussex Rotary are encouraged to attend one of the club’s 7:30 a.m. meetings in The Atrium at Brandywine Assisted Living in Fenwick Island.
“You build good bonds and strong relationships with the club. We meet every week and do activities together. There are club members I might not have run into ever, and I’ve have a chance to make some great friendships.”
Crotty said he hopes people in the community will attend the event to enjoy good drink, food and company.
“We hope we have a good time and a lot of people come out,” he said. “We also wanted a social event where people could come meet Southern Sussex Rotary and just have a nice evening. It should be a lot of fun.”
For more information, contact Crotty at (302) 858-3234 or by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Costa Ventosa Vineyard & Winery is located at 9301 Whaleyville Road, near Whaleyville, Md.
This weekend, the Xi Upsilon sorority will host its fifth annual cornhole tournament benefitting the Russell White Scholarship Foundation.
“My sister and I attended the cornhole event one of the first years the sorority did it. We really enjoyed ourselves. We had a fun time and thought, ‘What a great cause!” explained Sarah Hoban, who serves on the event’s organizing committee. “That’s why we decided to sign up for the sorority and signed up for the cornhole committee — because we wanted to be a part of it.”
Up to 50 teams can compete on Saturday, May 31, at the Millville fire hall. Registration costs $50 per team of two, and each team member will receive a T-shirt.
As of early this week, 40 teams were registered for the event, but Hoban said those who wish to take the last 10 spots may still register if they call by the morning of the event. The sorority owns 10 sets of identical boards made specifically for the tournament and orders new bags each year.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the game of cornhole, there are two opposing teams, each made up of two players, who compete in a scored version of a beanbag tossing game.
“It’s a really fun game,” said Hoban. “The boards are so many feet apart. Each team gets a set of bags, which are usually made of duck cloth with corn in them. You take turns throwing those four bags down to the other side. You get three points if it gets in the hole; one if it’s on the board. The points cancel, and the first team to 21 wins. It’s an easy game that anybody can play.”
Those who sign up will be competing for first-, second- and third-place cash prizes. Registration check-in begins at noon on the day of the event, with the opening ceremony at 12:45 p.m. The first bag is set to be tossed at 1 p.m.
“We have cornholers that are really good and some that just come to have fun and contribute to the cause,” said Hoban.
For the last three years, a father-and-son duo, Team T&T, have won the tournament.
“They’ve been great supporters,” said Laura Tedesco, a sorority member who helped create the event. “Every year they donate the prize money back to the foundation.”
Hoban said that, over the years, friendly rivalries have been spawned from the tournament, including one between the team of Hoban and her sister, Emily Harne, and Team Eskimojo, comprising Point Editor Darin McCann and Point Technical Director Shaun Lambert.
“There are certainly some friendly rivalries,” she said with a laugh. “My sister and I do play once a year, whether we meet in the tournament or not. We always make it a point to play Shaun and Darin. And I’m sure they’ve told you we’ve won every year.”
But cornhole is also a spectator’s sport — as you don’t have to play to attend and have a good time.
“If anybody wanted to just come and watch and check out the silent auction, it’s just a great social event. We’ll have a D.J. there. Charlie K’s barbecue will be there for sale. With the tournament, door prizes, silent auction items, there’s plenty to see, for sure.”
Those attending can also be eligible for a door prize and to participate in a silent auction.
“A lot of the local businesses really help us out with donations. We have a lot of great restaurants that donate year after year — Steve Hagen at Off the Hook,” offered Hoban as an example. “Bethany Bike Shop is one of our biggest supporters. They donate a bike every year to auction off. Banks Wines & Spirits always does a lot. They’re doing cornhole boards this year. We actually have four sets of cornhole boards up for auction this year.”
Hoban added that it’s wonderful to see how much the community supports the sorority’s fundraising efforts.
“We really appreciate all of the support we get from the community, as far as donations and the people who come out and play. All of the sorority members do put in a lot of time to get this organized, and we appreciate that.”
Hoban said the cornhole tournament is the sorority’s biggest fundraiser each year.
In the past, the sorority had done golf tournaments, but Tedesco said they were a lot of work and not always very fun.
“We started tossing around ideas of what else we could do. Everyone said cornhole was getting popular, and that’s how it got kicked off,” she recalled. “Our first one, we just invited our family and very close friends, and they actually paid to play. We did it in the common area at Murray’s Haven.”
Tedesco said the trial tournament went well, and the sorority was able to raise a decent amount of money.
“We thought, ‘Wow — we’ve got something here.’”
Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Russell White Scholarship Foundation, named after the Indian River High School graduate who was killed in 2004 while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. Tedesco said that the sorority had been looking at starting its own scholarship and thought it would be fitting to name it after White.
“He had just been killed in the war,” she explained. “One of the girls, Christina Meiklejohn, her brother was really good friends with Russell. So, that’s how we decided to name the nonprofit.”
Tedesco said this year’s tournament will be special, as it is the anniversary of White’s passing and marks the 10th anniversary of the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
“A lot of Russell’s buddies who served with him will be playing this year,” she said. “We’re going to have the local JROTC come out and do a ceremony at the beginning of the event. We’ll also be having a slideshow of some pictures — a little more of a representation of who Russell White was.”
Over the years, the funds raised have grown, and this year, the sorority was able to award two $2,500 scholarships to Indian River High School students.
Xi Upsilon is part of Beta Sigma Phi, a women’s social, cultural and service organization. Throughout the year, they try to help various families in the community that are in need.
“Each year we adopt two families at Christmas that we buy for. We usually spend about $500 on each family. There was a teacher not too long ago that was battling breast cancer, and we were helping pay a couple bills,” she said. “We gave to a family locally whose house had burned and they had five kids.”
Tedesco said Xi Upsilon just wants to help the community and focus on the kids at Indian River.
“It just comes down to the fact that we were all born or raised here from a very early age,” she said. “We’ve gotten so much out of the community — we want to give back to it.”
Hoban said the cornhole event should be fun for all those who attend, while helping to raise money for a great cause.
“It’s a really fun day. That’s what inspired me to become a member of this sorority and a part of this,” said Hoban. “We just hope it keeps going as strong as it has been. It seems every year we get more and more teams to sign up and more support from the community. We just hope it keeps growing.”
Pre-register for the even by calling or texting Hoban, at (302) 363-7311. The Millville fire hall is located at 35554 Atlantic Avenue in Millville.
A two-car accident slowed traffic in Dagsboro earlier this week, when a pickup truck was struck while trying to turn into the town hall parking lot. The pickup truck left Clayton Street, headed eastbound on Main Street, in an attempt to enter the lot.
“The vehicle that was crossing from Clayton Street, going diagonally across Main Street, into the parking lot, was actually flagged across by another stopped vehicle that was attempting to turn onto Clayton Street,” explained Police Chief Floyd Toomey.
“Because the vehicle doing the flagging was a van, he couldn’t see the other van approaching. When the pickup started to cross the white van that was northbound also, because of the third vehicle’s obstruction, he did not see him until it was too late.”
Both the Dagsboro and Frankford fire companies responded to the scene. Toomey said there were only minor injuries due to the collision.
Toomey urged drivers to stay vigilant while driving, especially given the influx of traffic during the summer season.
“You have to be ever-vigilant in these times, with the traffic, with speed. People don’t like to see us out here writing tickets, but one of the greatest life-threatening events that happen is traffic accidents resulting from reckless speeds.”
Last month, a $270,000 settlement was reached between a Dagsboro man and the Town of Seaford, Del., and a city police officer.
In September 2011, Reginald Johnson was driving home after celebrating his 43rd birthday when he was pulled over by Seaford police. The police, who were looking for a suspect in the area, misidentified Johnson and ordered him out of his vehicle. A police car camera recorded Johnson being pulled from his vehicle.
“He was driving along; he had just left a party celebrating his birthday and had no clue why he got pulled over. The next thing he knew was he was being yanked out of his car and being Tased and roughed up pretty significantly,” said attorney Stephen Norman of the Norman Law Firm, Johnson’s attorney.
Norman said that his firm, which includes attorneys Daniel Herr and Ben Gichner, took Johnson’s case not because they saw the footage of the incident, but because of what Johnson said.
“We took the case before we had the tape,” said Norman. “It wasn’t as if somebody came to us and said, ‘Look — I have this great tape.’ His position was, ‘I had these officers Tase me, and I didn’t do anything — I was innocent.’ You can kind of hear it in somebody’s voice when you believe them. You always make credibility assessments, and I found him to be incredibly credible right from the start.”
Norman said that, once the firm had possession of the video, they knew Johnson’s civil rights had been violated.
“What he said was confirmed when we got the video. We were able to get the video in the criminal case and pretty much 100 percent confirmed what he said. He was misidentified. He told us he was misidentified, and he was. It’s obvious in the video. The video itself speaks volumes. That was our whole case.”
Although the tape showed the Johnson’s rights had clearly been violated, Norman said, there’s always uncertainty when it comes to the outcome of any case.
“There’re always two elements to a case. You’ve got liability, where you win the case, and then you have to prove damages. Mr. Johnson’s special damages — something you could count like medical bills or lost wages — weren’t that substantial.
“The number we would get at trial, even if we got the jury outraged, was an unknown. We thought it could be very high, but we also understood it had the potential to be lower than the settlement value. We are confident in our decision to settle. We felt it was the best solution with the least risk for our client.
“Mr. Johnson’s case was a perfect example. If we didn’t have the video, that would’ve been a hard case to win. Because it’s often one person’s words against — in that video, there are five officers. I’m not sure it would’ve been the same story had that video not come out.”
Norman said Johnson will receive a $270,000 lump sum payment as a result of the settlement and is not prohibited from discussing the incident or the settlement.
“We — myself and Mr. Johnson — believed it was important to make sure that was known publically,” Norman explained. “It was kind of a give-and-take. In this case, we deemed the financial settlement and the ability to discuss it publically as the most important aspect.
“We have done training in the past. We felt like getting a judgment of this, in and of itself, being able to inform the public about it, mandates that there should be some training, without us making it be part of the settlement. Anybody can look at that tape and see that these officers need training.”
The sum, Norman said, specifically indicates serious wrongdoing, and that the taxpayers of Seaford have a right to know what they’re paying for.
“I think that, as a public entity, the citizens of Seaford need to understand that part of the money they pay in taxes, their money, is going to pay for wrongful police conduct. Some may feel outraged at the wrongful conduct causing this kind of penalty to the citizens of Seaford,” he said.
“This isn’t a budget item. This is something that’s going to be paid because they violated Mr. Johnson’s civil rights. … If you look at the sheer amount, it indicates that they recognize that something wrong was done that night.”
Norman said instances of police wrongdoing are more prevalent in Delaware than most people would think.
“A lot of times the cases are subject to a confidentiality order, where the public never knows if there was a settlement. In this particular case, we fought hard to make sure we could announce the settlement so the public could become aware of what exactly happened and, based on the amount, the public could judge for themselves whether there was some wrongdoing.”
Many law enforcement officers, Norman said, don’t know the law, which he said leads to rights’ infringements.
“A lot of officers do not know the law. They do not know the standards they need to meet in order to arrest somebody, or rather to even engage somebody,” he said. “We’ve had an officer who arrested somebody because the person didn’t show them his driver’s license, even though there was no crime.
“If an officer came up to you and said, ‘Let me see your driver’s license,’ you have the right to say, ‘No.’ As long as there’s no reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, they can’t just come up and do that.”
Norman added that law enforcement serves a crucial role in the community, when done properly.
“We support good police officers and good state employees that are doing their job. But when somebody’s rights are violated, that’s when we step in. We typically take the cases where the rights are the most severely impacted.”
Although the settlement was a victory, Norman said he believes Johnson is torn, because he wasn’t able to have his day in court.
“You’d have to ask Mr. Johnson. Civil rights are tough. When your civil rights have been violated, it’s hard to feel that you’ve been made whole strictly through a financial settlement. I think, after the litigation is over and you receive a benefit of significant financial gain or victory, eventually you realize you stood up and were successful. But it’s not immediate.
“I would say that he’s torn. Everybody feels like they want their day in court, but they don’t necessarily understand that a day in trial has its own risks and costs, where sometimes it’s better to resolve a case through settlement. I think in time he’ll believe this was an extremely good outcome for him. But I think there was a little bit of letdown with the litigation being over.”
Norman said many people are unfamiliar their rights, and therefore often don’t know when their rights have been violated. He added that civil rights protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments and private organizations.
“A lot of people don’t really understand their rights. I think a lot of people in general don’t have a familiarity with the legal system to understand what their rights actually are. Anybody can educate themselves by going online and reading about what civil rights are. A lot of times it’s a gut feeling. If you think your rights may have been violated and you have a bad taste in your mouth, or something just doesn’t feel right, call an attorney.
“Any attorney is going to give you a few minutes of their time or have one of their staff find out what your potential complaint is, and we’ll tell you if we think there’s any merit to what you’re potential claim is.”
He added that some people may even be hesitant to question whether or not their rights were violated.
“A lot of times people may not be 100 percent in the right. Maybe they had one drink too many or maybe they thought they got a little too mouthy or something, but your civil rights can still be violated. Even if they had the right to arrest you, they can only use a certain amount of force to effect that arrest. If it’s just a minor crime and they shoot you, even if you could be arrested, that’s a violation based on excessive force.
In the workplace — if you think that your employer has done something illegally and you come forward, that’s potentially a claim. A lot of people don’t know that they have the right to report wrongdoing by their employer under certain circumstances. They don’t understand their rights at work.”
If someone feels their rights have been violated, Norman said, that doesn’t guarantee his firm will take the case.
“First of all, we’d want to hear what you have to say. Then we need to objectively confirm their story. We want to see the other side — we want to see the police report they put together, statements.
“If somebody said they were hurt and their arm was broken, we want to see medical records. If they said they called the police and said X, we want to make sure we know they did call the police and did say X. We want to confirm the facts as much as we can. We’ve dropped many a case after initially taking it because we found that the facts were not as presented to us.
“The last thing we want to do is get engaged in a case where things aren’t how they were represented, because that just spells trouble from the start. We’re not out to get anybody. We’re here for legitimate wrongdoing.”
Norman said his firm turns down approximately 90 percent of the cases brought to them.
“You have to be very selective with these cases, but if you pick the right case, which also means the right client, it can be very rewarding, because you’re helping somebody standup against the establishment. You’re helping somebody stand up against officers or municipalities who violated their rights.”
The Norman Law Firm has become known for their work in civil rights and is currently working on a number of cases, including a class action suit against the City of Wilmington, as well as in Florida and Maryland.
“It’s really interesting, challenging work that taxes you. It really challenges every piece of your brain. It’s not just open-and-shut, here’s a little bit of law. You’ve got to know a wide range of law; you have to understand that state officials and police officers are allowed to make reasonable mistakes.
“It’s really when they engage in conduct that is completely unreasonable or malicious, where they know they’re doing something wrong… These cases are super-challenging. We had hundreds and hundreds of hours in this case. We had a tremendous amount of work in this case.”
Over the years, the Norman Law Firm has been recognized for their work in civil rights, which Norman said is a great compliment.
“We’re a little firm. It’s nice to get the recognition from your peers — both the plaintiffs’ attorneys and defense attorneys — that you’re doing a good job,” he said. “This is an extremely, extremely tough area of the law. It’s nice, above anything, when your peers recognize that you’re doing a good job on tough cases. That gives you a feeling of accomplishment, that you did a good job.”
Norman said his firm aims to address the violation of rights and help people.
“Eventually, if you’re too good at your job, you hope things will change. Everybody wants to have continued employment, but you hope people at these departments and offices understand that they’re going to be held accountable, the more cases we’re successful on and are able to, hopefully, get into the pubic and change things.”
For more information on the Norman Law Firm and civil rights, call (302) 537-3788 or visit www.thenormanlawfirm.com. The Norman Law Firm is located at 30838 Vines Creek Road, Unit 3, near Dagsboro.
On May 5, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold a lower court ruling in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, found that legislative bodies, such as city councils, can begin their meetings with prayer.
That ruling made, the Sussex County Council has now requested that County Solicitor J. Everett Moore discuss what the federal court decision would mean for the local council, which has itself been involved in legal action over the issue.
Since mid-2012, the county council has opened meetings with the Old Testament’s Psalm 23, as part of an agreement made to resolve a June 2011 lawsuit filed against the council by Americans United for Separation of Church & State, on behalf of four Sussex residents.
The suit contended that the council’s recital of the “Lord’s Prayer” before meetings violated the establishment clause of the United States Constitution, as well as the Delaware Constitution’s corresponding provision.
In May 2012, U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark had issued a consent decree, ruling that the council’s recitation of the “Lord’s Prayer” was a violation. In September of 2012, council members approved an agreement with the plaintiffs that allowed the council to recite Psalm 23 at the beginning of each meeting, rather than the “Lord’s Prayer.”
At the council’s May 13 meeting, Moore explained that, although the Supreme Court had ruled to allow the Town of Greece, N.Y., to permit legislative prayer before meetings, the ruling was very specific to the facts of that specific case.
“The Town of Greece opened its meetings with prayer — not one specific prayer at every meeting, as was the case in Sussex County,” said Moore, noting that the policy in Greece had been for the town clerk to call local clergy listed in a directory and invite them to give an invocation prior to the meeting.
“They at no point excluded or denied the opportunity to a would-be prayer-giver. Its leaders maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion — including an atheist — could give the invocation; but nearly all the congregations in town were Christian, and from 1999 to 2007, all the participating ministers were, too.”
Moore said that, after respondents complained that Christian themes pervaded the prayers, to the exclusion of citizens who did not share those beliefs, the Town invited a Jewish layman and the chairman of the local temple to deliver prayers.
“A Wiccan priestess who had read press reports about the prayer controversy requested and was granted an opportunity to give the invocation. Thus, it was clear that the Town was open and nonexclusive in allowing other faiths to participate,” he explained.
Moore added that the Supreme Court had found that, as long as the Town of Greece maintains a policy of non-discrimination, “the Constitution does not require it to search beyond its borders for non-Christian prayer-givers in an effort to achieve religious balancing.”
Moore reiterated that the Greece case was different than that involving Sussex County.
“The court decision reads as follows: ‘The Town of Greece does not violate the First Amend¬ment by opening its meetings with prayer that comports with our tradition and does not coerce participation by non-adherents. The judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.’
“That shows it is specific to this case and to the facts of this case. It says the Town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with prayers. … Though the Supreme Court affirms the right to have prayers in legislative cases, the Sussex County case was different in that the same prayer was given each week.”
Moore emphasized that the council had also entered into a Consent Order that did allow the council to continue its tradition of prayers before meetings.
“As such, if we change our practice, we do need to seek the Court’s permission,” he said.
As to whether or not the ruling would affect Sussex County Council, Moore said the council would have to decide if they want to change the prayer they are currently using.
“If the council as a body decides it does want to ask the court for relief from its Consent Order, the council needs to decide what kind of relief to ask for. If so, I would recommend Scott Shannon, Esq., of the firm of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman, & Goggin be part of the strategy discussions.”
Councilman Vance Phillips noted that the Sussex County Council had a 30-plus-year tradition of giving the “Lord’s Prayer.”
“Was that ever recited in Greece?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. I’ve looked through a lot of the prayers, and many of the prayers were very decidedly Christian in nature,” responded Moore. “Some of them were very specific in invoking the name of Jesus Christ.
“During that period of time, the Court said it was important that the Town of Greece did not look specifically into the content of those prayers, because it did not tend to censor the prayers themselves… I did not see … in looking through the ones recited in the Court that they were the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ but they were definitely Christian in nature.”
Phillips asked Moore how others are receiving the Court’s ruling, including Americans United.
“Even Americans United stated on their website that it is important that, if there is a decision to have prayers at any meetings, they cannot denigrate other faiths, threaten others with damnation or seek converts; local officials may not direct prayers or compel people to take part; and that the prayers may not be integrated into the policymaking periods of governmental meetings,” responded Moore.
Councilman Sam Wilson said he believed the Supreme Court’s decision would allow for the “Lord’s Prayer” to return to Sussex County Council meetings.
“I’ve been to Legislative Hall. They pray up there. Whoever is reading the prayer can say, ‘in Jesus’ name’ or whatever he wants to say. They’ve been practicing that for years. After school board has been open, they pray,” said Wilson.
“It seems like this is the only body right now that’s not permitted to do this. It kind of irritates me a little bit. This last line, it says we have to seek relief from the Court… As far as I’m concerned, [the Supreme Court] is the general. The general has handed down word that we have the right to pray, and we don’t need to go back and beg any difference.”
Moore stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling only affected the Town of Greece v. Galloway case, and not all cases that pertained to legislative prayer.
“What it did do — which I thought was very good — it gave a lot of guidance that is good for legislative bodies to look at to make sure that you’re inclusive in allowing everybody to have an opportunity to participate in prayers if you were opening it up,” he added. “It does give guidelines, which is very good.”
Wilson said that, if the audience doesn’t want to pray, that’s “their business,” and that the council is not proselytizing.
“I don’t see any holdback,” he said.
Councilman George Cole said he did see the distinction between the Greece case and the County’s previous litigation.
“When I read this, folks… the difference was we were giving the same prayer every week… My feeling is, I’m comfortable with what we’re doing. “We’re still saying the prayer… I don’t know if I want to get back into this chasing the tail.”
Phillips asked if it would be appropriate to discuss in executive session whether the Council wishes to take action regarding the Court’s decision.
“What is the end result? What’s the game plan?” asked Cole. “As of right now, I see no game plan. I think what we’ve got right now is good. I’m comfortable with it. I’m tired of spending money on this issue. Unless somebody comes up and says, ‘You’re saying the same prayer. You’re in trouble again…’ I just see this case was unique to that council. I’m fine with what we’ve got.”
Wilson said that Cole’s concern about legal fees was unfounded.
“As soon as we call in the next general above this general, it gets expensive again. These guys charge quite a bit by the hour, and they’re going to do research, and we’ll have a huge legal bill,” said Cole.
Wilson said it would “not cost a dime, and I think we should have more of a right here. After all, the Supreme Court has made a ruling here. Why should we bow down to a lower court? What’s wrong with the ‘Lord’s Prayer’?” asked Wilson.
“Sam, what’s wrong with the 23rd Psalm? I think they both send a good message,” responded Cole.
Phillips recommended the Council have a meeting in executive session with Moore and staff to see if the council wishes to pursue a relief from its Consent Order.
“I agree we have to be careful about spending much money on this. We had pro-bono services offered to us, and we utilized them during the first go-around, from the Beckett Fund,” he added. “I would suggest the administrator reach out to them and see if they would extend that pro-bono advice. It was very good the first time.”
The council did, in fact meet in executive session this week; however, once back in public session, no votes or other actions were taken regarding the issue. At that May 20 meeting, Seaford resident Bob Harrison spoke to the council, stating that he believes prayer should not be a part of legislative meetings, as they are “offensive” to non-believers.
He added that he was shocked to hear the council had been reciting the “Lord’s Prayer” for decades, stating that the use of the prayer by the council “cannot be morally justified by virtue of there being traditions.” Harrison cited slavery and segregation as long-standing traditions, and said, “All of these discriminations are or were against those who were politically powerless.”
He requested that the council change its rule and procedure by remove the invocation from its order of business.
With the arrival of the summer season, Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project came to a close, at least for now.
“Streetscape work is ending as I speak,” Town Manager Cliff Graviet reported at the afternoon council meeting on May 23, on the cusp of the Memorial Day weekend. He said sweeping, final markings and a small punch list, with curbing and pavers included, were all that remained to be done as of Friday.
Workers later that day finished up work on the Town-owned gravel-covered parking area mid-block on Garfield Parkway between Route 1 and N. Pennsylvania Avenue and hauled away the construction trailer that had been the headquarters for the 2014 “winter edition” of the Streetscape work.
“They’ll be back in mid-October for the late fall edition,” Graviet noted, with that final segment to include the Streetscape renovations on the beach block of Garfield Parkway, at the “loop” near the lifeguard station/bathhouse.
An add-on project on N. Pennsylvania Avenue was also completed in recent weeks, except for a snafu that involved getting the wrong fixtures for the light poles installed there — something Graviet said would be corrected as soon as possible.
“We’re happy A-Del and DelDOT put it all together and were able to complete it in time for the Memorial Day weekend,” he added.
Along with the debut of the bulk of the Streetscape project, the 2014 summer season will also see the arrival of smartphone-based parking in the town, as the Town adds ParkMobile to its parking payment system.
“We’re working some issues out, trying to meld both together and make sure it works as it should,” Graviet explained to the council on May 23.
He said the Town was focused on trying to make sure the addition doesn’t make parking more painful and expected to have the system operational as of June 2, when people can sign up for a ParkMobile account if they don’t already have one (Rehoboth Beach has been using the system the last few summers) and use the smartphone app to pay for parking for designated vehicles.
Until then, it’s off to the paystations for the bulk of the town’s paid parking areas, or coins in the meter for the few remaining metered spaces.
For those seeking to avoid all the headaches of parking, Graviet also noted that the town trolley is now up and running. And with the season getting into full swing, the Seaside Craft Show will be held June 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market set to open for its season on June 15.
The town will have one fewer police car patrolling in the coming weeks, with the loss of a 2013 Tahoe that was consumed by fire after, it is believed, one of the electronic elements of the $55,000 vehicle caught fire.
Graviet said the car had been parked while the officer was on traffic duty, but when he spotted flames in the interior, he’d been unable to get the doors to open. The fire spread, with the car a total loss, but Graviet said it was believed insurance would compensate the Town for the cost.
The Town was expected to deploy its traffic and speed measuring device in Bethany West, on Halfmoon Drive, at the request of residents there. Graviet said the Town had previously measured traffic and speed there and, at that time, there wasn’t a problem. It has also recently used the device on Hollywood Street, after complaints about volume and speed while traffic detoured around the Streetscape work, but Graviet reported that the bulk of traffic was actually going slower than the speed limit.
“I’m sure we will find the same thing,” he added of Halfmoon Drive, “but we will be glad to deploy it there.”
The Town has also officially added e-cigarettes to its smoking ban for the beach, boardwalk and public parks, with a unanimous vote on May 23. Councilman Lew Killmer noted that the updated definition of “smoking” was being expanded to include substances other than tobacco, including marijuana extracts, and other methods of inhaling such substances, including hookahs and the newly-trendy e-cigarettes.
He again reported that the state legislature was in the process of banning the sale and use of e-cigarettes by minors, while the FDA has not yet determined what health hazards they may pose.
In other news from the May 23 council meeting:
• Planning is under way for Périers Day 2014, again celebrating the town’s sister city of Périers, France. The March 27 program is set to feature band La Vie en Rose, with French music to be offered on the bandstand prior to the regular evening performance that day, along with two caricature artists available to draw stylized depictions of boardwalk-goers.
• Planning is also well under way for the 2014 Bethany Beach 4th of July Parade. The new Town committee has settled arrangements for use of the Christian Church property, and has all of the planned bands signed and commemorative T-shirt sales to begin with the Seaside Craft Show.
• A second May meeting of the Non-Residential Design Review Committee is set for May 30, when the committee will consider approval of new signage for the new restaurant Pie (located in the former Coastal Living Market), relocated Beach Break Art and new business Dreamweavers. Killmer said even more applications had come in since the May 30 meeting was scheduled, marking a very busy start to the summer season for the town’s businesses.
• A June 21 meeting will focus on a draft of regulations designed to address residential bulk, with architects, developers, contractors and the public invited to a public hearing that will include a line-by-line review ahead of possible revisions.
• The council unanimously approved an update to the town code regarding off-street parking and loading, involving the size of spaces and some housekeeping changes required to make the ordinances consistent. The new ordinance creates a size for “compact” spaces, at 8 by 16 feet, and sets the maximum amount of required parking in the CL-1 Commercial Lodging district that can be made of up compact spaces at 15 percent of the total (one space per room). Previously, the Town had required all parking spaces be at least 8 by 18 feet.
• Another amendment to the parking code that the council unanimously approved last Friday requires that no new construction or enlargement in dimensions of a structure (or addition of bedrooms in a residential zone) or conversion of any existing building can be done unless the parking requirements are met.
A definition for off-street parking has been added, along with requirements for residential parking of two spaces for three bedrooms, four spaces for four or five bedrooms, six for six or seven bedrooms, and eight for nine or more bedrooms. Killmer said the requirement was designed to help “achieve balance with the size of future dwellings.”
• The council also unanimously approved a policy designed to regulate charitable events held in the town. Councilman Chuck Peterson noted that there “seems to be a continuing increase in the number of organizations asking to run charitable events, such as bike races, road races, and asking to use our facilities, public thoroughfares and rights-of-way,” as well as requiring work by the Public Works staff and police department.
“We’d like to make sure that, with an event we’re putting our resources into, the money gets to where they say it’s going,” he explained. Citing research on charity-rating groups, Peterson said it was felt that Charity Watch’s mark of 60 percent or more of funds raised needing to go to the organization an event is supporting was a good measure of an acceptable charity event for the Town to support. That’s an average, or C-rated, program, he noted, while most well-rated charities give 75 percent or more of funds raised to the charitable cause.
Under the policy, organizations wishing to host events involving Town facilities or staff must provide documentation to the Town that shows where the money goes, such as bookkeeping records to show how the funds were spent. Details of the requirement and a timetable for documentation will become part of a contract designed to hold the organizations liable for meeting the criteria.
• Council Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Dorfman reported on the annual audit by the TGM Group in late April, noting there were, again, no areas of concern. A compliance audit — required when more than $500,000 in federal funds are used — was also included, due to funds used for the Town’s new water tower.
• The council unanimously approved an amendment to the Schedule of Fees for the 2015 fiscal year, to correct a mention of an “impact fee” that is actually a building permit fee, with the change applying retroactively.
• Finally, the council unanimously voted to approve a revised purchasing policy for the Town, which Dorfman said serves to improve documentation in the process already being used by the Town.
Last week, Richard Collins filed to serve as the representative of the 41st District in the Delaware House of Representatives.
Collins said he hopes to address the State’s finances, if elected.
“They’re approximately $190 million behind where we were in 2011,” he said. “We have a structural problem with our State income. The huge concern that I have — and I pay very close attention to what our General Assembly and the leadership of our government [do] — [they] are simply not addressing this serious situation.”
He stated that a state Department of Labor statistic indicated that fewer people were working at the end of 2013 than at the beginning of that year.
“That’s a time we were all led to believe we were in some sort of recovery. The administration, our General Assembly leaders and my opponent are doing nothing to address the structural problems of the Delaware economy. It’s time someone with some vision got into the game and tried to at least talk about some possible solutions.”
To address the issue, Collins said, he would look at State tax increases.
“Many of them were with the votes of my opponent. I would see if they have actually brought increased revenue. I could tell you that the estate tax has not. This is one of the big ones. It put a huge cost on people,” he said.
“It’s not raising any revenue, but what it has done is put a huge financial burden on family farmers, family businesspeople who have had to go out, pay a lot of money to restructure all of their affairs to try not to have their assets taken from their families when something happens.”
He added that he would also like to address the gross receipts tax in the state.
“I would look at the tax code and see if relief could be given in any way possible. I would certainly look at ways of giving tax incentives. We’ve been giving a huge amount of money to businesses like Fisker and Bloom. Rather than that, I’d look at creating some tax incentives for businesses to move here, but at the same time I would look at creating tax incentives for people who are already here.”
Collins said that, although Delaware has been good at attracting new business, it hasn’t done its best to keep the businesses it has.
“We have been one of the worst in the nation at creating employment among businesses that are already here. That’s crazy. We need to treat the businesses that are already here at least as well as brand-new ones and get them to employ people.”
He also hopes to address the state’s regulatory process.
“We need to totally reform how we do regulations. The problem that we have now is that the regulators have been given powers. They have the power; our elected officials don’t have much power. Without a majority vote by each house and the signature of the governor, they have no power — no more than anyone else,” he said.
“The regulators have been given the power to enact law on their own, all under the signature of one person — the secretary of that regulatory body. There are a variety of ideas I have for reforming that.”
Collins said the regulatory authority for state agencies should sunset every five years to make sure everything is kept in check.
“They should have to come in and explain to the General Assembly what they’ve done with their authority, and why they should be reauthorized to have that authority going forward. That would bring about an incredible amount of accountability that simply doesn’t exist anymore.
“Major regulations should come to the General Assembly for some sort of approval. It is not right that regulations, which have the same impact on us as laws — that include criminal, civil and administrative penalties, as high as $25,000 a day, along with prison time — it is not right that these regulators would be able to put these things in place under the signature of one man or woman, without virtually any knowledge of the citizens. There should be some sort of legislative review of these cases.”
Collins said that he also hopes to work on cutting State spending through land acquisitions.
“This State owns entirely too much land that is totally unproductive. I believe we own more land than any state in the nation on a percentage basis. I would stop any new purchases of open space. I’m not talking about the farm preservation program, but the fee-simple purchases where they just go out and buy land. That should end, unless it’s very specific, for a DelDOT highway project or something like that. But, for open space — no more.”
Although he has never held a political office before, Collins, a Republican, ran against incumbent 41st District Rep. John Atkins in the 2012 election.
“Last time, I lost by 69 votes. A huge factor, I think, was that I was not as well-known as my opponent. I believe that’s been put to rest this time. I’m certainly far better known now; I’ve established a lot of relationships that I didn’t have at that time. I’m very positive but not overconfident. It’s up to the voters to decide what they want.”
He has also been actively involved in government through the Positive Growth Alliance, of which he is the executive director.
“I’ve been doing it behind the scenes for years. [We have a] huge anti-capitalist majority in our state legislature. It’s time to try and get in there and try to reinstitute the ideas that made us prosperous in the past.”
Collins says that, as a native Sussex Countian, he’s in love with the county and its residents.
“I love the people. They are independent-minded. They are willing to stand on their own two feet and do what they can for themselves. They’re God-fearing. It’s a wonderful district, it really is. I’ve lived in Sussex County all my life. I just love it here. I really do. There can’t be a better place. I hope to have the chance to make a difference.”
As for campaigning, Collins said he hopes to start in the first part of June by going door to door to meet voters.
“I would be thrilled if they would like to contact me, hear their concerns, have some social get-togethers.”
Collins said that he hopes to be able to serve the residents of the 41st District, if they choose to elect him.
“I believe these are the types of ideas that we need to bring Delaware back to a place of prosperity. I believe in what I say,” he said. “If citizens will have the confidence in me to give me a shot, I will at least try. I won’t be the governor or the leader, but I believe just having the ability to speak to our elected folks every day, with some commonsense solutions, that maybe a difference could be made. I at least feel an obligation to try.”
Those who are interested in contacting Collins may do so by calling (302) 381-1610 or emailing email@example.com.
Night work continues on the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project between Clarksville and Ocean View. There may be lane closures overnight from Tuesday night to Friday morning, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.:
• at the Cedar Drive intersection (by Giant).
• at the Old Mill intersection (by Food Lion).
• between Old Mill Road and Grants Avenue to install a new drainage system.
• near Route 17 to install a new Sussex County sewer line.
Detours are not required for this. Motorists should drive with caution, slow down in work zones, and never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones.
Public meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall for construction updates.
Night work continues on the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project between Clarksville and Ocean View. There may be lane closures overnight from Monday night to Friday morning, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.:
• at the intersection of Central Avenue (near Fulton Bank) between West Avenue and Woodland Avenue.
• at the Old Mill intersection (by Food Lion).
• between Old Mill Road and Old School Lane to install a new drainage system.
Detours are not required for this. Motorists should drive with caution, slow down in work zones, and never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones.
Public update meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.
Earlier this year, the World Gym in Millsboro expanded, tripling in size and moving from its 5,000-square-foot space to a location just across the highway, just shy of 15,000 square feet.
“We opened five and a half years ago. We should’ve been an adequate size for this area,” said Pam Trader, with a laugh. Trader owns the gym with her husband, Steve.
The Traders, who live in Salisbury, Md., opened the gym in Millsboro five years ago, after Steve mentioned he thought it was odd that Millsboro didn’t have a gym.
“Steve worked at the power plant. He would get off work, drive home 45 minutes and say, ‘Gosh — why can’t there be a gym in Millsboro?’” said Trader. “We just thought it was the logical place to go.”
After adding onto their 24-7 gym access with fitness classes at a separate location multiple days a week, the Traders realized they had a demand that was greater than what they could house.
“A lot of people commute, and we found that with the demand for classes and the different services we offer, we were undersized. The last three years, we had a separate location — a studio — to house our classes. So we had to run back and forth between two locations,” she said, noting how inefficient it was.
She added that it was it was important to offer 24-7 access to members so they could work out at any time. Members can simply enter the facility using a swipe card, no matter the time of day.
“It’s a popular trend in the industry now. This is a commuting area, and it’s just as much for the convenience of us as it is for the public. Members can always get in the door, 24 hours a day. That’s important, if something happens — we have a meeting or have to run to the post office — somebody is on the floor with a client.
“We don’t leave our staff at the front desk. We want them to be traveling on the floor. Anyone who’s working back here knows something about the gym. Our people float around because they do everything.”
The new facility also boasts twice the equipment of the former location, as well as a Gorilla Warfare room, a spin room and more.
“We have a Synrgy 360 machine,” said Trader. “This thing a trainer can put eight people on, or more, but eight ideally. We crank up the music and the trainers will put them on an intense workout cycle and have them move stations. When we first did it, all the members would stop their workouts and kind of gather around.
“We had someone from Life Fitness come out and work with us for a whole day, and train us all how to use the machine. It’s always neat when you have something like that, because we all kind of thought we had already explored the machine and knew enough about it. But we learned so much that day.”
The bathrooms are all private, with their own showers — one being handicapped-accessible.
“That’s a nice feature for people who don’t like sharing locker rooms. We feel like 24-hour gyms shouldn’t have locker rooms, because you’re too vulnerable when there isn’t staff at the front desk and in the locker room, I think,” said Trader. “I think our women feel safer knowing that if they’re here taking a shower at night after work they have their own locked bathroom.”
There’s also a fitness room where members can take in-person instruction classes, such as Zumba, or work off of a pre-recorded class.
“We have a kiosk that houses Group X class schedules, Zumba, kickboxing, yoga, all that,” she said. “But we have pre-recorded classes, as well. So when there’s a class not in progress in here, you can still take a class.
“Most of the day, there is not a class in progress. There might be three or four classes a day that are live. The rest of the day, members have access to this room. They can go in, choose a class, come into the studio, and there’s a projector. They can see the class up on the screen and follow along.”
Another important aspect of the new facility was a childcare area. Members can pay just $10 per month for childcare, or can participate on a drop-in basis.
“We also needed childcare. We didn’t have that at the other location. Once we started having classes, it became a real problem, because when we put classes on a schedule the moms wanted to come but couldn’t always find someone to watch the kids.”
The gym has more 20 employees, and Trader said all the trainers are certified, have insurance and have CPR certification.
Trader said that, when choosing what they wanted their new facility to be like, she and her husband took a tour of various gyms.
“We went and toured gyms in the Baltimore area. We just went in and took tours and wrote down what we liked about every place,” she recalled. “We’re also members of Power House gym in Salisbury. We liked how Tony and Laura ran their gyms, as members. Everything they did in member service was important for us to do.”
Trader said that the gym has a rate structure as low as $22 per month.
“For a high service-oriented gym, it’s a really low rate,” she said. “Group X aerobics classes are included in the membership. You only have to pay extra if you’re having a specialty class, like for personal training or a class. Spin pays $10 extra a month, due to the maintenance cost of the machines.”
Trader herself had been in the insurance industry prior to opening the gym and said it was her own personal experience with rehab that was her driving force.
“[Insurance is] a product that people hate. I wanted to work in an environment that I enjoyed, and the gym was the place I enjoyed the most. I had two total hip replacements, and that was the driving force,” she said.
“When I had that, I was still in the insurance business, and the process of being young and rehabbing through two hip replacements excited me so much — the ability to get my strength back and do walking lunges with an Olympic bar over my head after the replacements was the biggest high. I wanted to live that and share that with other people.”
Trader said she hopes the community will take advantage of the high level of customer service they offer to members seeking their own personal fitness goals.
“I hope people come in here and are able to achieve whatever fitness goal they have,” said Trader. “We love our members, and we really try to do all we can for them.”
For more information about World Gym, visit their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/
WorldGymMillsboro or call (302) 933-0722. World Gym is located at 28632 DuPont Boulevard (Route 113) in Millsboro.
The boardwalk will become an art gallery when the Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show returns for its 10th year, on Saturday, June 7. Rain or shine, around 100 artists display their best work in photography, glass, pottery, metals, woodworking, decorative painting, fiber, textiles, jewelry and other wearable art.
Each year, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee brings new and familiar crafters to participate in this juried fine crafts show.
“People love it. Every year we have a survey that we hand out to all the crafters,” said organizer Carol Olmstead. “We get lots of positive feedback [on] how well our show is organized and how successful they are with the show.”
“I absolutely love being in that show,” affirmed Maureen Dyer Ickrath, who will display coastal photography for the eighth year.
“I just do phenomenally well,” Ickrath said. “I enjoy talking to and meeting these people as much as I enjoy selling my photography. It’s a wonderful attraction for the city. All these fabulous people come. And we get to talk. … They ask me about my photos.”
With an eye for scenes, Ickrath loves the “instant art” cameras produce. She photographs coastal Delaware but said her Irish photography is especially popular. She said she’s even recruited people to the Coastal Camera Club, encouraging their own love of art in discussions on the boardwalk.
“It can be crowded, but people are pretty polite,” said Ickrath, who has maneuvered successfully, even with a handicapped guest. “It’s a happy crowd. They’re nice.”
That could be because they’re also enjoying the nearby ocean all day.
“I’m always interested to see who’s near me,” Ickrath said. “Last year, there was an Asian-looking woman with Asian pottery. I got the opportunity to look at art all day. On the other side, there was a woman who made pocketbooks. They were so different. They were little works of art.”
“This is a juried fine art show. People do have to apply,” Olmstead said. “We don’t always accept everyone. We try to have a good mix of different kinds of crafts. … It seems to work very well.”
According to Olmstead, the show originated when a crafter approached the Town, suggesting a craft show to complement the fine arts show organized by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce on the boardwalk every fall.
Admission is free for all shoppers, but the crafters’ registration fees benefit the Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee.
“We used proceeds to for historical projects that we have in town,” Olmstead said. “We’ve recreated the museum downstairs in our lobby … and hung markers in historic homes built before 1930.”
The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Bethany Beach boardwalk and surrounding streets.
“Come and enjoy it. It’s a beautiful day,” Olmstead said. “All we have to depend on is a day exactly like today — not too hot and lots of sunshine.”
It’s hard to ignore the candy-colored shop in Clarksville, although it may be one of Route 26’s smallest shops. Liddy Loves Clothes is bursting with color, from light green walls to a pink heart painted overhead.
And, with an open door and a line of clothes spilling open like flags on the breeze, the front lawn echoes the clothing: “super casual, fun summer stuff,” said owner Linda Siegel.
The fashions are designed to be casual and comfortable, but pretty, with beads, braid and woven designs. All the fabrics flow gently in the breeze, from long beachy dresses to tops, skirts and cover-ups.
The few black clothes only serve to make the other colors shine brighter. That includes Siegel’s.
“I always wear black, but I love color at home,” she said. “I won’t wear it, but I love it! It makes me happy.”
Many of the dresses, shirts and skirts are one-size-fits-all.
Some people might think, “That’s not gonna fit me,” Siegel said.
“Watch the magic,” is her favorite response.
She’ll grab a seemingly small peasant top that stretches to drape over any form. The clothes hang easily either way.
“They go from a 6 to a 16,” she said of the one-size-fits-all style. “I’m really honest with what I think will fit people … with what looks good. I don’t want to walk around looking like a dope!” And she wants customers to take home the perfect outfit.
Many of the clothes are handmade, hand-dyed or batik.
“They’re just fun,” she said. “Nothing’s not comfy in here.”
People can finish the shopping trip with purses, scarves, earrings and homemade goat milk soaps by Cindi’s Soaps of Bethany Beach. Glass mosaics catch the sunlight, glowing in windows and on small handmade tables. These are all Siegel’s creations.
“They just go with this place,” she mused, having been invited to hang them at other businesses and galleries.
Caribbean colors cover every inch, from fabric (funky abstracts, paisleys, florals and stripes) to décor (blue shutters, purple Adirondack chairs and every hue of potted flowers).
When Siegel arrived, she wanted to wake up the sleepy little building, located on Route 26 next to Lavender & Lace.
“The floor was brown, the walls were brown, the lighting was fluorescent,” she said.
Customers have noticed the renovations, made possible by Siegel’s husband.
“I’ve gotten a lot of compliments. They love it.” She was modest, but honestly, she said, “I think it’s adorable.”
Siegel wants a fun atmosphere, from antique pink-and-blue furniture to the friendly chatter.
“The customers just really like it,” she said. “I usually make everyone laugh, and they come back! I have lot of repeat customers.”
“My goal is just to make people happy,” Siegel continued. She’s also happy in such a cozy location, with clothes and gifts on every wall. “I’m just gonna pack it with stuff.”
Clothes range in price from about $20 to $50. With new shipments coming every week, “It’s always gonna be different when you come in.”
She’ll keep going in winter, too, with longer sleeves and (slightly) cooler colors.
Back in 1990, Siegel opened a boutique in Chincoteague, Va., called
CraZy LadyZ!, which she sold in 2005 and which now has locations in both Ocean City, Md., and Ocean View. She later managed a Chico’s clothing shop, where she earned the nickname “Liddy.”
She wanted a pink heart as her sign, so Liddy Loves Clothes was born. The Clarksville shop has been open for nearly two months. Liddy’s has been a clothing vendor at Good Earth Market and still plans to attend several art festivals this year.
Liddy Loves Clothes is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and only closed on Sundays. For more information, call (302) 236-8772. All major credit cards are accepted.
Dark clouds may have pushed Indian River High School’s graduation indoors, but that couldn’t stop the joy of 230 graduates, along with their families, friends, teachers and administrators, on May 27.
“You really made this school and community proud,” said former principal Mark Steele, attending his first graduation as assistant superintendent of the Indian River School District.
“Love is what drives us and motivates us,” said Salutatorian Logan Robinson, urging grads to continue to be passionate, get involved and evolve as life changes.
“Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase,” Robinson said. “I promise you would not be about to graduate if your teachers, parents and yourself had not believed in you.”
“As old as we feel today, we have great plans,” said Class President Racquel Joseph. “We don’t know what we will truly be.”
As varied as high school experiences are, “We, as a class, will always have a few things in common. We will always be graduates of Indian River … Class of 2014,” she said, thanking the staff, advisors and other students for getting them to that stage.
“You lose this family of 230 in front of you” but gain a larger family of alumni, said Principal Bennett Murray.
About a dozen student musicians sang and performed the senior song, the Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye,” while a number of seniors were honored for earning scholarships and other awards.
Sarah Hickman, Samuel Izzo and Ridge Murray won the IRHS Alumni Association’s $1,000 scholarships. Josh Kleinstuber was also recognized for being third in the class, by mere hundredths of a grade point.
The graduation speaker was a Baltimore-based lawyer with a house in Bethany Beach, Philip Federico, founder and senior partner of the medical malpractice law firm Schochor, Federico & Staton P.A. His own grandfather came to America alone at 15, penniless.
“I can assure you that every generation has its obstacles. It also has its opportunities,” Federico said.
He reminded graduates that “It feels much better to be a giver than a taker.” Meanwhile, he advised, “Take good care of your mind, and it will take care of you.”
As people get older, they get better at decision-making, he said.
“Every morning when you wake up,” he said, “and every night when you put your head on that pillow, you want to respect that person you are.”
Meanwhile, he said, don’t worry about the stigma of stress or anxiety “because the brain is just another organ that needs be taken care of. Life’s not perfect. Please take advantage of the resources out there,” such as a teacher, mentor or counselor. The people around you “will get you where you need to go.”
“It has been a journey, a hunt for the elusive diploma … a map that is directing your way to a better treasure in life,” said Valedictorian Nell Weaver. “Congratulations to the Class of 2014. Good luck finding your treasure.”
Tension continues to build between Frankford residents and the Frankford Town Council as the process of amending the town charter progresses — and this week’s heated town council meeting demonstrated that, when residents gathered to demand answers.
In the June 2 meeting’s opening minutes, in which residents are allowed to voice their concerns about items on the official agenda, several citizens not only expressed their opposition to the proposed town charter amendment but questioned whether the process has been legal.
“It’s illegal, what you’ve done,” one resident claimed. “I want to know how you can change the town charter without notifying the people of the town what the [expletive] is going on.”
The outraged resident’s main concern was that the council voting process either wasn’t legal or never took place — on the basis that Council President Jesse Truitt should not have been able to vote, since the matter concerned his wife, Town Clerk Terry Truitt, who would benefit from the pension provisions involved in the charter amendment.
Jesse Truitt maintained that there had been a vote and that it was legal. He said he would contact the town solicitor and get back to the citizen with verification.
“As soon as we get an answer, we’ll let you know,” said Councilwoman Pam Davis. “If we made a mistake, we will correct it.”
As a group, the opponents of the charter amendment placed much of the blame for the situation on Jesse Truitt, and they went on to question when the amendment would be officially adopted.
“My question is what happens next? If the General Assembly approves them, is it done and over with?” asked one concerned resident.
“No, the governor has to sign it, and the governor’s not signing,” answered another assuredly.
While the charter amendment still has a way to go before it would be approved and official, the council concluded that the topic — which was not listed on the agenda for the June 2 council meeting — be tabled once again and noted that they will answer looming questions after hearing back from their lawyer.
Another concern discussed was that three-minute time allotment at the beginning of the monthly council meetings for residents to voice questions — specifically regarding the town budget meetings, which could involve discussion of the proposed pension plan for Town employees.
“How can one person get the opportunity to address all their questions when you’re restricting them to three minutes and one line item can take three minutes?” asked one resident, expressing her discontent with the rule.
Jesse Truitt said there wasn’t time for every to citizen ask a question about every line on the budget, but Terry Truitt assured her that, if there was an issue that required more time to be explained, the council would not just disregard it.
“If it something that needs more time, I’m sure the council would be accommodating,” she asserted.
“One person can take that budget and present it to the council and get a definition what it is for both the current year and proposed year, for an explanation,” the same resident recapped, apparently satisfied with the answer.
Residents then brought up less pressing issues, such as concerns about business licenses for future contracting projects for the Town and sidewalk maintenance.
On Monday, June 23, at 7 p.m., the Town will hold a budget meeting regarding the upcoming fiscal year. Regular town council meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall.