- RSS Channel Showcase 2464768
- RSS Channel Showcase 3685983
- RSS Channel Showcase 5116427
- RSS Channel Showcase 1416813
Articles on this Page
- 08/21/14--12:31: _Garron set for Aug....
- 08/21/14--12:47: _Energy-saving initi...
- 08/21/14--12:48: _IRSD adult educatio...
- 08/21/14--12:55: _Changes in lifeguar...
- 08/21/14--12:55: _Land to spare? Mill...
- 08/21/14--12:56: _South Bethany to ho...
- 08/21/14--12:57: _New fire police veh...
- 08/21/14--12:59: _Coastal Point to ho...
- 08/21/14--13:00: _Application withdra...
- 08/21/14--13:01: _Haley, 53, killed i...
- 08/28/14--08:23: _Bethany Beach First...
- 08/28/14--08:34: _Special Olympics at...
- 08/28/14--10:46: _Police seek driver ...
- 08/28/14--10:48: _Death of cab driver...
- 08/28/14--10:49: _Public invited to e...
- 08/28/14--10:53: _Feather in their ca...
- 08/28/14--11:04: _Jakarta’s Indonesia...
- 08/28/14--11:26: _Dickens to host Sim...
- 08/28/14--11:27: _Haley’s legacy incl...
- 08/28/14--11:31: _Ocean View CVS rece...
- 08/21/14--12:31: Garron set for Aug. 31 show in Bethany Beach
- 08/21/14--12:47: Energy-saving initiatives launched in state municipalities
- 08/21/14--12:48: IRSD adult education kicks off new year
- 08/21/14--12:55: Changes in lifeguard hours announced
- 08/21/14--12:55: Land to spare? Millville seeks donation for event space
- 08/21/14--12:56: South Bethany to hold fourth annual ‘beauty contest’
- 08/21/14--12:57: New fire police vehicle joins Millville fire company
- 08/21/14--12:59: Coastal Point to host candidates’ event in Bethany on Friday
- 08/21/14--13:00: Application withdrawn from County Council for music festival
- 08/21/14--13:01: Haley, 53, killed in motorcycle accident
- 08/28/14--08:34: Special Olympics athletes enjoy traditional summer camp
- 08/28/14--10:46: Police seek driver of stolen car involved in accident near Dagsboro
- 08/28/14--10:48: Death of cab driver in Millsboro ruled a homicide
- 08/28/14--10:53: Feather in their cap: Swans return to White’s Creek
- 08/28/14--11:04: Jakarta’s Indonesian Grill spices up Clarksville
- 08/28/14--11:26: Dickens to host Simon’s ‘The Sunshine Boys’ from Sept. 4-7
- 08/28/14--11:27: Haley’s legacy included teaching grants for employees
- 08/28/14--11:31: Ocean View CVS receives bomb threat
Elvis tribute act signs with Maximum Talent & Entertainment
Jesse Garron’s Tribute to Elvis is the newest act featured on the roster of Maximum Talent & Entertainment out of Gaithersburg, Md. The non-exclusive agreement provides a marketing platform to promote and represent the act to diverse venues.
This marks the 16th year that Jesse Garron has been entertaining audiences with his portrayal of Elvis Presley. He performed his first concert as a free showcase in 1998 and has since emerged a leader among tribute artists, being ranked among the most respected, professional acts in local and nationwide venues.
His voice and stage presence have earned him acclaim as “the closest thing to the King.” The addition of a full band and choreographed female backup singers further supports the act’s authenticity to deliver a performance of Elvis in his Vegas years.
“Elvis had a lot of voices behind him on stage,” said Garron. “Our act goes that extra step to provide an authentic Elvis concert experience.” The music spans three decades of pop, rock, gospel and oldies.
Maximum Talent has provided talent for regional, national and international events since 1971. Garron has shared the bill with acts such as Little Big Town, The Commodores, The Temptations, K.C. & the Sunshine Band and Brett Michaels in venues ranging from Louisiana’s Isle of Capri Casino to New York’s Westbury Music Fair.
Jesse Garron’s Tribute to Elvis draws on a successful back catalogue of Billboard hits made famous by Elvis. His next appearance will be on the Bethany Beach bandstand on Sunday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m.
For more information, visit http://www.reverbnation.com/jessegarronelvis.
U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) recently joined USDA Rural Development State Director Bill McGowan to announce energy-saving initiatives in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program.
Delaware’s first recipient of this program, the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, will loan funds to seven rural municipalities to convert existing street lights to more affordable LED lights. The municipalities — Middletown, Smyrna, Clayton, Dover, Milford, Seaford and Lewes — will receive loans in total of $593,120 for 10 years at zero-percent interest.
The USDA loan will support the installation of 700 new LED street lights in the eligible communities, saving customers thousands of dollars annually while reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
“Every little thing that we do to become more energy efficient has a larger ripple effect,” said Carper. “Not only are we protecting the environment, but we are also easing budgetary pressures on our municipalities, and that’s a win-win situation.”
“Saving energy is a common-sense way to lower energy costs, help the environment, and boost our nation’s energy security,” Coons said. “Energy efficiency is an enormous opportunity that more communities should be taking advantage of.
“This investment by USDA Rural Development and the facilitation of Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation will help seven Delaware communities reduce their energy consumption and reap some of the benefits modern energy efficiency can offer.”
“This project is a great example of federal and local partners working together to support jobs, enhance public safety, and protect the environment,” said Carney. “Improvements like this shine a light on the many unique and attractive things Delaware towns offer for residents, visitors and businesses.”
“Small towns are the backbone of rural Delaware,” said McGowan. “When towns work together and take advantage of opportunities such as the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program today through Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, it benefits all of us who call these communities home.”
“DEMEC is very happy to participate in this joint effort of Federal, State and Local organizations,” said Patrick McCullar, president and CEO of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation. “This project is a great example of our mission — jointly advancing our common goals of increasing energy efficiency and improving quality of life in our member communities here in Delaware.
“We are very excited about working with the USDA and Tony DePrima of the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility to do this very beneficial and cost-effective LED street lighting project for the betterment of our Delaware communities.”
The Indian River School District is teaching at all hours of the day, having announced its Adult Education offerings for the fall of 2014, which include everything from babysitting certification to aerobics.
This year, Self-Defense and Karate returns to the lineup on Tuesday nights, Sept. 9 to Dec. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at John M. Clayton Elementary. People can join to get a few self-defense basics that might come in handy in a dark parking lot, or they can begin long-term training, so the person who dreams of a black belt can continue taking these sessions in winter or spring.
Classes are flexible, so people can skip a semester or work side-by-side with people at vastly different skill levels.
“You cannot walk around with attitude that ‘It’s not gonna happen to me.’ Just be aware of your situation and your surroundings,” said instructor Gemez Norwood.
“Seventy-five percent of self-defense is awareness,” said former instructor Walt Knapp. “If you’re aware of what’s going on around you, you can avoid potential problems.”
But he doesn’t want people to be over-concerned that something might happen.
“You don’t have to walk around scared, either,” Knapp said. “We want you to be comfortable enough that if something were to occur … and you were put in a position to defend yourself, you can.”
The first step, Knapp said, is to calm down the antagonist, because words cannot physically hurt you. But, after that, the martial arts class teaches people how to use their abilities and surroundings to foil an attacker.
So what keeps these guys coming back to class?
“Camaraderie, for one thing,” said longtime member Chuck Levine.
“You build a friendship with people in class. You enjoy learning, expanding your knowledge,” Knapp added.
“There is not one thing … that an average person can’t come in and learn. It’s just a matter of training your muscles to do things you haven’t done,” Knapp encouraged.
Anyone 14 or older is welcome to join. Some are well into retirement age, but they stay active, balanced and flexible with weekly classes.
Of course, “The younger you start it, the more you’re going to retain it in your older use,” Knapp said.
Plus, he noted, hand-to-hand combat can provide a good background for people looking to enlist in the armed services.
At a little more than $20 per month ($65 total), Norwood said the class costs much less than most self-defense academies, which can require a longer time commitment.
“We want to make it affordable to anyone that wants to take it,” Knapp said.
“It’s the best bargain in town,” Levine added, so missing one class doesn’t become a huge financial loss.
The Winged Dragon Karate Club began in 1977 but expanded locally in 2005. To keep costs affordable, members often teach through adult education or parks-and-recreation programs.
People attending the classes should dress comfortably and wear loose clothing.
For more information or to obtain a registration form, visit irsd.net and click on “Adult Education” under the Discover IRSD tab, or call the Adult Education office at (302) 732-1343.
Changes in the hours and locations where swimming beaches in Delaware State Parks are guarded for the Labor Day weekend have been announced by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 25, and running through Friday, Aug. 29, Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Indian River South Inlet Day Area and Fenwick Island State Park will be guarded with limited staff. Guarded swimming areas will also be reduced and limited in size.
Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road swimming beach will be unguarded Monday, Aug. 25, through Friday, Aug. 29, but will be guarded on Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day).
Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, lifeguard hours will resume their regular schedule, from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. from Saturday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept.1 (Labor Day).
For more information, call (302) 739-9200.
In searching for new festival space, the Town of Millville is weighing all options. This week, Millville opened its doors current landowners who may be interested in donating two or more acres of property to the Town.
Millville sponsors community-oriented events, from the weekly farmers’ market to the annual Holiday Market and Great Pumpkin Festival. Already drawing anywhere from dozens to thousands of guests to each, Millville officials are hoping to expand the number, diversity and quality of town events.
“We want to expand our public events, but we just don’t have the space,” said Town Manager Debbie Botchie.
Having until now borrowed fire company property or squeezed into the Town Hall parking lots, Millville aims to have its own space of at least 2 acres inside town limits, with “room for a performance stage, concessions, restroom, small tot lot and a very large pavilion that would host the farmers’ market and artisans fair, Botchie said.
Anyone interested in donating property to the Town can contact Town Manager Debbie Botchie at Town Hall, by Sept. 5, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Town Hall at (302) 539-0449.
Driving through South Bethany, motorists often notice the beautifully landscaped canal and road ends. The continued beautification of the areas has been carried out through the work of the town’s Community Enhancement Committee (CEC) and countless resident volunteers, with the creation of the Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Program.
“The Community Enhancement Committee decided it would be a fun way to acknowledge those who had adopted a canal end. We knew we wanted to grow it and thought this would be a great way publicize it,” said Councilwoman Sue Callaway, who chairs the CEC.
This year, the Town will hold its fourth annual Adopt Beauty Contest, in which its citizens may vote for the most beautifully manicured and maintained canal or road end.
“They vote for their top five,” explained Callaway.
Those who wish to vote may visit the Town’s website, at SouthBethany.org, which provides photographs of each road and canal end, with voting options. Callaway said people may also vote by submitting their votes to Town Hall officials.
“They can do it online, looking at the photographs. This year, we’re encouraging people to either walk to take a bike ride to all 26. They can print out a paper copy, do it that way, and then drop it off to Town Hall.”
The adoptive caretakers of the top three canal or road ends selected will receive a gift certificate to Lord’s Landscaping.
“This year, Mike Lord increased the amount to $200,” she said, noting that the increase in prize amount allowed for a third-place winner to be selected for the first time.
Not only does the adopt program promote the beautification of the canal and road ends, but it also serves an important role in improving the Town’s water quality, she noted.
“For one thing, they didn’t all look good,” said Callaway of the canal and road ends before the project began. “It was an expense the Town hadn’t set money aside for prior to the CEC getting involved in it.
“Also, we knew, in terms of water quality, it would help with some of the water retention. That’s one of our goals with any landscaping we do — hopefully, it’ll also serve as a rain garden area that can hold the water for a little bit longer and be a bit more healthy when it enters the canal. That was our mission at the very beginning.”
Callaway said the program has grown considerably in its short existence, and she hopes it will continue to be embraced by the community.
“We’ve gone from six to 26,” said Callaway of the number of adopted canal and road ends. “Every one along Canal Drive is done now. It’s a whole street of well-landscaped canal ends, and it really makes a difference.”
Those who are interested in adopting a canal or road end can meet with Callaway or another member of the CEC at their chosen canal end to discuss potential improvements.
“We encourage the adopter to talk to their neighbors and anyone else who lives near the canal end. Then, if they’re still interested, they come up with a design plan and that’s submitted to the CEC. The adopt subcommittee reviews the design,” she explained.
“Once it’s approved, we send out letters to the property owners who are directly adjacent to the canal end, to inform them of what the plan is and to see if they’re interested in getting involved, as well.”
Callaway said the adopter may then go about landscaping their adopted end.
“They make a commitment for a year. Then, at the end of the first year, we ask them to make a commitment for two years,” she explained, adding that only two sets of adopters, for three canal ends, have ever fulfilled their commitment for one year without then renewing that commitment for two more years.
Callaway said there’s a group of citizens called the Wandering Weeders who walk around the town and maintain those canal ends.
Currently, the town has approximately 20 canal and road ends left to be adopted.
“Last year, we prioritized all the canal ends: Those that we wanted adopted, those that were second choice, and then those that look pretty natural and are fairly tidy — those are our last priority.”
Callaway said she is thankful for the support of the Town’s maintenance department and all those involved in helping make South Bethany a little more beautiful.
“It really is contagious. People really do, when they see someone fixing something up — whether it’s a canal end or their home — it does encourage other people to do the same,” she said. “I’m just real appreciative of everyone who gets involved.”
For those who are interested in voting, the contest will open on Friday, Aug. 22, and will conclude on Monday, Sept. 1. Those who may be interested in adopting a canal/road end can contact Town Hall, at (302) 539-3653.
The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has added a new vehicle to their arsenal of apparatus — a 2015 Ford Super Duty F250 with a SpaceKap slide-in unit. The new fire police vehicle will replace the department’s 1989 Ford.
“It was originally a brush truck that was converted to the traffic-control use,” explained Fire Police Capt. Harold Lloyd. “It just outwore its usefulness.”
The new vehicle was outfitted to meet the department’s needs, with LED lighting, power outlets, a remote-controlled traffic arrow and more.
“Supposedly, the cap itself will outlast three pickups. So it’s interchangeable between units over the years. It’s a lot better vehicle. It’s definitely a lot more visible and allows us to get through traffic easier.”
The rear doors are even customized — with the rear doors being broken up into a 40-60 split.
“On the street side is the 40 percent — that way the door doesn’t hang out into the area of traffic flow,” said Lloyd.
The vehicle, which joined the department on Aug. 6, now responds to all calls the department receives — from medical assists to fires.
“The fire police are responsible for traffic control and crowd control. We take a lot of concerns for our firefighters — especially on an accident scene — that they know traffic is going to be controlled and, if we have to detour traffic away from the scene, we’ll do so,” said Lloyd. “Crowd control — if you get a big fire, you always get a lot of spectators. We try to maintain integrity of the fire scene by keeping people away from the area.”
MVFC Public Information Officer Bob Powell praised the fire police for responding to calls in all types of elements and helping to be the face of the department while dealing with the public during an emergency.
“Fire police are really unsung heroes in the fire service,” he said.
Soon, the new F250 will be joined by two new ambulances, expected to be received by the department this fall.
“Our mission is to respond to emergencies that arise in the community. Whether it be an accident, a fire or an act of Mother Nature, and to help mitigate whatever that emergency is,” said Powell. “Sometimes we can do it just with our own company, and other times we need other companies to come in and assist. And other times we go and assist other companies that have an event they need mitigated.”
Lloyd emphasized that the department would not be able to exist without the support of the community.
“Delaware is unique, in that there are only two career fire departments in the state of Delaware — Wilmington, and the other is on the [Dover] air base.
“The capital city, Dover — that’s a volunteer fire department. It’s probably the only capital city whose fire department is staffed by volunteers.”
He added that the local company is working to continue to educate the public on how essential their financial support is.
“We have so many people who move in from the metropolitan areas that are so used to riding down the street and having a fire station here and on the other side of town they have another one… staffed and paid for through community taxes or the government. They don’t understand, sometimes, the volunteer firefighter process.
“At 2 o’clock in the morning, we don’t have a career staff in-house. You get up out of bed, you get dressed, you respond to the fire house and you get the apparatus out on the street. It’s just a whole different process.”
The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has more than 100 members, all of whom joined to do one simple, yet essential, service.
“When I was asked that question back in February of 1971, my answer was, ‘I want to give back something to the community.’ That’s pretty much what it is. You don’t do it for accolades… It just gives you a nice feeling to help people who are in a time of need, whatever that may be,” said Powell.
“I would like to think it’s because of a desire to give back — pay it forward,” said Lloyd. “After 50 years, it kind of gets to be a habit.”
Donations to the Millville Volunteer Fire Company may be made online, at the firehouse or over the phone. For more information, visit www.millville84.com or call (302) 539-7557.
With the annual election for the Bethany Beach Town Council set for Saturday, Sept. 6, the Coastal Point this week was preparing to host its third Candidates’ Night event at town hall, on Friday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m.
The event will feature several rounds of staff-developed questions for each of the five candidates for the four council seats up for grabs in 2014. The candidates include incumbents Jack Gordon, Rosemary Hardiman, Lew Killmer and Margaret Bogan Young, and challenger Bruce Frye.
A live audio broadcast of the event via the Internet through the Town’s website at townofbethanybeach.com will once again be offered for those who can’t make it to town hall on Friday night. (Look for the “Live Audio Broadcasts” link on the left side of the site’s home page.)
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring candidates and voters together for this great night,” said Point Editor Darin McCann. “The Town is so supportive of our efforts and has been offering any help they can provide to make this night a success as far as providing information to voters before the Sept. 6 election.
“The candidates all taking time out of their busy schedules to do this also shows the love and commitment people have for Bethany Beach. Hopefully, some voter comes out of this evening with a clearer picture of the candidates in his or her mind and can make a truly informed decision at the ballot.”
The 2013 edition of the Coastal Point Candidates’ Night event brought out a near-capacity crowd at town hall, so those planning to attend in person may want to arrive in plenty of time to find a parking spot and a chair.
Voting in the Sept. 6 election will run from noon to 6 p.m. at town hall. Voters can vote for up to four candidates.
Voters must be at least 18 years old and either a resident or property owner in the town for at least six months prior to the election. Bethany Beach property owners who are listed on the Town’s property tax list are not required to register to vote in Town elections. Residents of Bethany Beach who do not own property must have registered to vote at least 30 days prior to the election.
Voters who are unable to vote in person on Sept. 6 can file an affidavit for an absentee ballot at Town Hall. The written affidavit must be filed no later than noon on Friday, Sept. 5, and an absentee ballot will be provided once the affidavit is approved. Absentee ballots must be received before the polls close on the day of the election.
For now, concerned Harbeson-area residents can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Sussex County Council approved this week the withdrawal of a conditional-use application that would allow for a music festival on a farmland property near the town.
Last week, the council had deferred their decision on a conditional-use application submitted by Cool Spring LLC and Highway One, which requests permission to use 500 acres of farmland in an AR-1 agricultural residential district on Hollyville Road, owned by the Baker family, for a facility for outdoor entertainment events with temporary camping facilities.
The application was presented by Dewey Beach businessman Alex Pires, who would organize country music and folk music festivals to be held on the property, if the conditional use is approved.
Since the vote for a deferral, Pires’ attorney, Stephen Spence, submitted a letter to the council requesting to withdrawal the conditional-use application.
“It is apparent that when this application was first filed, there was some initial misunderstanding on my client’s part as to the mandatory requirement for presentation of a preliminary site plan,” wrote Spence.
“While it is clear in the county code that preliminary site plan is required as part of the application process for conditional-use applications generally, my client believed that its areal maps and surveys submitted at the time of the application were sufficient to allow the application to proceed, because this application did not contemplate any site development.”
The letter from Spence also recognized that, throughout the process, there has been a great deal of opposition to the application.
“My client has heard and taken note of the many concerns of the surrounding property owners and other interested parties, and the concerns of the commission that there was insufficient detail in the submitted exhibits to make an informed recommendation as to this unique temporary use.”
Spence also wrote that Pires believes the festivals would have a positive impact on the local economy.
“However, my client understands that, notwithstanding the initial misunderstanding as to the mandatory need for a preliminary site plan for the unique type of conditional use, the withdrawal of this application is appropriate to allow the County to properly consider the request on its merits.”
Councilman George Cole said he was concerned that granting such a withdrawal request could set a precedent.
“There should be good reasons, and there should be a threshold of what a good reason is. From what I just heard is, the only good reason was it was a misunderstanding between the attorney and the client, who’s also an attorney,” said Cole. “I don’t know if that rises to the threshold. If it does, we’re going to establish something here today that says just having a misunderstanding is a good reason to withdrawal an application…
“To me, the key to that letter was there was a misunderstanding in what’s required and what’s not. I’m just asking council, is that something we want to use as a precedent in the future?”
County Attorney J. Everett Moore stated that an applicant may withdrawal an application without a vote of council, up to two days prior to the application’s first public hearing before council.
Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank said that, in most cases, the applicant is able to find out what the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation to the council will be, prior to the application’s first public hearing.
“This has only happened a couple times,” Lank said of times when the Commission delays a decision until after a public hearing before the council, “but in most cases, they get the opinion of the Commission and realize that it’s negative and will assume the council will have the same difficulties and withdraw before it gets to council’s schedule,” he explained. “In this case, you had the public hearing scheduled before the Commission made a recommendation.”
The council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Joan Deaver opposed, to grant the withdrawal at the request of the applicant.
Cole said he supported the withdrawal request due to the Commission’s recommendation being submitted following the application’s public hearings.
Lank noted that, if Cool Spring LLC and Highway One wish to continue to seek a conditional-use variance for the Baker property to be used for a music festival, an entirely new application will have to be submitted to the County.
Local chef and entrepreneur Matt Haley, 53, died Tuesday, Aug. 19, after a head-on, high-impact motorcycle collision in northwestern India. Haley had been on a six-week humanitarian mission to India and Nepal.
After colliding with a truck on Monday afternoon local time, Haley was reportedly in critical, but stable, condition and said to be improving. However, he died during a medevac transport at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, local time), while being airlifted from Leh to a hospital in New Delhi, India.
The 53-year-old had recently been honored with the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, for work in the realm of food that has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large.
“The entire team at the Matt Haley Companies is incredibly saddened by this huge loss. We will release more information as it becomes available,” said Scott Kammerer, president and COO of the Matt Haley Companies, on Wednesday morning.
As extraordinary as such a journey might sound, Haley was no stranger to the Indian subcontinent. He was traveling to bring technology and stoves to a Nepali village, where Kammerer said most people cook over open fires — which pose a risk of potentially fatal respiratory infections and other health issues.
Riding at an elevation of about 18,000 feet, Haley was traveling with a group including international filmmaker and motorcycle expert Guarav Jani and was at the head of the bikers’ formation when he collided head-on with a truck. None of the other motorists were injured.
“Matt is with a group of eight to nine very experienced riders from that area,” Kammerer had told the Coastal Point on Tuesday afternoon, after word of the accident was received locally. “[He’s spent] quite an extensive amount of time in that part of the world.”
Based in Rehoboth Beach, Haley was founder and CEO of the Matt Haley Companies, which includes eight restaurants under the SoDel Concepts umbrella, including NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View, Catch 54 near Fenwick Island, Matt’s Fish Camp and Bluecoast Seafood Grill in North Bethany, Lupo Di Mare in Rehoboth Beach, Fish On! in Lewes, and Papa Grande’s, with locations in Rehoboth Beach and near Fenwick Island. He also founded Plate Catering, Highwater Management and Haley/Kammerer, a hospitality consulting business.
“I was on the beach yesterday in Rehoboth Beach,” Haley posted on Facebook on Aug. 11. “Today I’ll be on a motorcycle headed to Lahdak, India, for a three-week high-altitude motorcycle ride at heights up to 18,500 feet on the highest and, some say, most dangerous roads in the world, on the Pakistan border, with some badass Indian buddies of mine.”
Then, he said, he planned to continue to Kathmandu, Nepal, for a week with his “daughters” — three Nepalese girls with whom he’d bonded on a trip years prior, whose education he sponsors and who inspired his ever-expanding humanitarian work. After coming home for some fresh clothes, he said, he’d be off to Mexico City.
In 2011, Haley founded the nonprofit Global Delaware Fund, with a goal of protecting children, locally globally and locally, as well supporting arts and education. The India-Nepal trip was part of his work with GDF.
“He knew the area very well, and he’s been there many times,” Kammerer said on Tuesday.
In last five years, Kammerer noted, the Matt Haley Companies had stepped up its corporate structure so Haley could travel extensively for business and charitable work without getting bogged down in day-to-day operations.
“We had planned on Matt being away two months,” said Kammerer on Tuesday. The accident occurred on Day 10 of the trip.
“We have an experienced, tight-knit staff, and we will keep all eight of our restaurants running smoothly while he is recuperating,” Kammerer said after word was received about Haley’s accident.
An extraordinary life
Haley has always helped people, while thinking of those who first helped him.
“There was a time I really didn’t want to live,” he told the Coastal Point in February. “And those people went out of their way … taught me how to live.”
Raised in Washington, D.C., Haley had experienced challenges early in life. When his mother left his father, she and her children slept several nights in a car until they found a shelter. Haley had originally learned the culinary arts in his early 30s, while recovering from drug and alcohol abuse in a rehabilitation facility.
From earning his first job after being locked up, to opening his first restaurants on the Delaware coast in the early 2000s, “It was a challenge for me to clean up my life … and put myself on the right path,” he said, expressing his continued gratitude to “a group of people who stood by me. … I really think challenges are opportunities to get to know yourself,” he said.
This July, Haley was proud of staying sober for 24 years.
He was declared officially cancer-free on Aug. 5.
Haley had walked a long road to enjoy the business success he achieved, but he leveraged that success to travel worldwide to pay it forward.
“The most important thing in my life is not only to be available but support other people who need help,” Haley said in February, “to be able to be a positive example … only because someone was positive in my life.”
At the time, Haley was on his way to Nepal, where three little girls call him “Dad.” Eight years ago, Haley had first sponsored the orphaned sisters Laxmi and Leela, later helping them find their other sister, Jyoti.
He then widened his vision to all of Nepal, where the charitable arm of his companies has sent dollars and man-hours to build and rebuild schools, group homes and an orphanage.
Founded by Haley in 2011, the Global Delaware Fund has done much of that work, providing goods and services to people at-risk in challenging circumstances, both in Delaware and globally.
He touched the lives of not only those who needed his help but those who held positions where they could appreciate and aid in his mission.
Just last month, Gov. Jack Markell and his wife, Carla, “were inspired by his plans to bring his message of making the most of second chances and the importance of a healthy recovery to people across Delaware and the country,” the governor recalled on Wednesday. “He was a world-class humanitarian, and we will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Many people called Haley an inspiration who was not only successful, but who “worked tirelessly to leverage his success for the good of others,” as U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) wrote on Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (also D-Del.) said he was grateful that his last encounter with Haley was in trying to help someone.
“The weekend before Matt left for India, I met a woman in Dover — a recovering addict who couldn’t find work because she couldn’t find anyone willing to take a chance on her and to believe in her. I told her Matt’s story and the incredible life he’d made after the mistakes of his youth,” Coons wrote.
“I called Matt the next day, and he leapt at the opportunity to help her. He took her number and promised to call her right away, because he was getting on a plane the next morning. He told me about the trip and the risks involved. He couldn’t wait to see his dear friends in Nepal, and he was excited to fulfill a promise he had made to a friend in the region.”
“Delaware and the world lost a great humanitarian last night,” U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) added on Wednesday. “While many people knew Matt as a great chef and restaurateur, my deepest respect came from meeting him in his role as a board member for La Esperanza, an organization that supports the integration and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Sussex County. I was both touched and impressed by his servant leadership and efforts to bring hope to so many both here and abroad.”
Since Haley joined the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Board of Directors in 2012, representatives of the charitable group wrote, his “impact on our organization’s operations and outlook was immediate. … His passion for food and philanthropy was infectious, and he used both to improve the lives of others. We know that he left his mark on this world both locally and globally, and we will forever be grateful for his service to our organization and our community.”
Coastal Point Publisher Susan Lyons remembered his “you can do anything … if you put your mind to it” mentality. “He would have a vision and see it through to fruition,” she said. “I recall several times we just sat and had long conversations about work ethic and expectations of employees, and how he juggled so many different ventures.
“The impact that he made on this community has been tremendous, and we will all feel his loss in more ways than we can count. He was a person that truly made a difference, and it was a privilege to know him.”
“It’s surely sad to lose someone like that in the community. I got to spend a few years of my life working with him,” said Steve Hagan of restaurants Just Hooked and Off the Hook. “The things that I got to do with him and learn… He left behind a huge legacy. My thoughts and [prayers go out to him,] his family, his company. It’s just a huge loss. It’s just tough [to say more].”
Staff at the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce spoke to Haley’s “character, compassion and vision. He created a standard of excellence as a restaurateur and humanitarian. His story is inspirational and will have a lasting legacy in the Quiet Resorts. We are proud to call Matt Haley ‘one of our own.’”
“Devastating” was the only word Sue Ryan could use to describe the loss. The owner of Good Earth Market said Haley “has been a friend and supporter to us for over 10 years [who] mentored and employed my children… There’s just so much. I don’t even know what to say. It is a huge loss to us and a community that loves him.”
She said she had seen Haley just before he left, to discuss their annual Farm-to-Table dinner.
“I personally had never seen him as happy as he was… He was in such a good place. That’s what I’m clinging to.”
“Matt got a second chance at life and vowed to seize it,” Coons wrote. “He was a reminder to all of us that we should embrace life and live it fully and graciously and gratefully every single day. His spirit, enthusiasm and creativity were infectious. He endlessly sought and found opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. He didn’t seek attention for his good works, but he certainly deserved it.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Haley’s honor may be sent to the Global Delaware Fund; P.O. Box 49; Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 or online at www.theglobaldelawarefund.com.
The First Responders triathlon and duathlon will make its return to Bethany Beach for the third year on Sept. 21, for an all-weekend event that should see an estimated 800 participants.
This year’s race is again sponsored by presenting sponsor Meris Properties and official bank sponsor PNC Bank, and will raise money for the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
“We can’t do it without the sponsors — it is an expense-rich event,” said Race Director Rick Hundley after citing the charity event’s various expenses.
As was the case last year, the 1,000-meter swim, 30K bike ride and 7.5K run will incorporate various age-group divisions; however, this year, the race will add an Open Elite division, as well, which will launch first.
“There’s a criteria that you have to meet to go into that — we call it racing off the front,” Hundley explained.
Last year’s champion, C.W. Moore, will not be in that division this year, after getting his pro card and having to race another triathlon that day.
“Our defending champion, C.W. Moore, will not be coming back this year,” Hundley said. “He wrote a very nice email, mentioned that this was his favorite triathlon.”
While the elite racers will lead the way, the beginners’ division will start last — something for which Hundley explained there was also a reason.
“The theory behind that is that our lifeguards can pay more attention to them in the water,” he noted.
Also similar to last year, the race weekend will kick off with a welcome party for all participants at the Starboard in Dewey Beach on Friday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 11 p.m., with complimentary drinks, food and games, such as stationary bike races.
“It was a great time last year. We had about 150 people show up. This year, we’d like to see more people,” said Hundley.
Racers can also pick up their race packets at the welcoming party on Friday before the race this year, or wait until Saturday, as they did last year.
On race day, swimmers will hit the water at 7:30 a.m. and the athletes will compete until the post-race party, which is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at Mango’s in Bethany Beach. Bethany Blues will be providing the barbecue, with 3rd Wave Brewery putting on their beer garden for the awards ceremony.
“You finish the race — you got great drinks, you got great food, you got great music. Why wouldn’t you want to be here?” Hundley said. “It’s a great venue.”
Despite all the fun and money being raised for Station 70, Hundley mentioned that economic impact for the area is one of the race’s other objectives.
“Economic impact is definitely our goal. It’s the reason it’s in September and not in August,” he said.
To find out more or to see if any registration spots remain available, visit www.bethanybeachtri.com.
Special Olympics Delaware recently held its 14th annual Summer Camp at Camp Barnes. At the three-day camp, 54 athletes from all over the state attended to enjoy a classic summer camp, complete with archery, canoeing, crafts, sports and more.
“A lot of our Special Olympics athletes don’t get to go to a traditional [camp] — this is their opportunity,” said Jon Buzby, director of media relations for Special Olympics Delaware (SODE).
“That’s not to say that the local camp is going to turn away a child or adult with Down syndrome. But what we have here is counselors who are trained and educated on what they can do to make the experience the best possible for people with intellectual disabilities.”
SODE holds two sessions of camp each summer, each of which spans three days and two nights.
“I love the camp,” said Carol Bak, a Special Olympics athlete on from Ocean View, noting that swimming is one of her favorite camp activities. “Last night, we did the campfire. Tonight, we’re going to do the dance. I got lots of friends here.”
Bak is a member of the Sussex Rip Tides and has been involved in Special Olympics for 40 years.
“Carol started Special Olympics when she was 8 years old, which then was the earliest you could start. Now you can start when you’re 2,” explained Buzby.
She has been participating in numerous sports, including tennis, bowling and golf, and recently Bak received two gold medals after competing in a bocce ball competition.
“I went to New Jersey for bocce. It was the USA games in New Jersey. I did bocce ball. My dad is my coach. I did singles, doubles and team. I got two golds.”
During the recent camp session, SODE celebrated Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day (EKS Day), honoring the memory of the founder of the Special Olympics movement and an advocate for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
“It’s an opportunity for programs around the world to honor our founder — Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver,” Buzby explained. “When we sat down and thought about what event we could do, Mrs. Shriver’s big push and the reason she started Special Olympics was because she believed people with and without intellectual disabilities should be together and work together.
“Although we do that at all of our events in some fashion, I don’t think there’s ever an event that we have that demonstrates the unity between people with and without intellectual disabilities like this camp does.”
Unification is a common theme around the camp, with the athletes naturally pairing up with volunteers without intellectual disabilities.
“When they sit together in the cafeteria, they sit every other person. It’s not because we tell them that’s what they have to do. It happens naturally,” said Buzby. “It’s a wonderful experience for everyone — the campers and the counselors.”
Gary Cimaglia, SODE senior director of sports and the camp’s director, said that attending camp is a relaxing and fun experience that he looks forward to every year.
“I enjoy being with the athletes all the time. Whether it’s a competition or a setting like this, I just enjoy being with people who are themselves,” he said. “It makes you feel good with what you’re doing, and you wish everybody could be themselves. It’s just fun. Everyone just relaxes, and no one focuses on anyone’s disability.”
Cimaglia was quick to point out that the camp would not be possible without its many volunteers.
“It’s amazing how selfless people are,” said Cimaglia. “This is our job. These other folks, they’re giving up their time to be here.”
Ocean View resident Marie McIntosh has been volunteering for the camp for 13 years, after first getting involved in SODE as a swimming coach upstate.
“I decided to have a Blue & Gold meet — meaning I would have unified partners swimming with handicapped individuals. That’s how it began,” she said. “Then, in 1976, I asked to volunteer at some events.”
McIntosh was a swimming and tennis coach for the Thunder Bears in New Castle County for many years before moving to Sussex County a decade years ago.
“Once I started living down here, I started cycling, tennis and swimming.”
The volunteerism at the camp and in the SODE organization, said McIntosh, is always wonderful to see.
“I’ve been trying to get my tennis friends involved, and there are a number of them who came this weekend and last weekend. It’s absolutely fabulous. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is. It’s an eye-opening experience for them, they’ve all told me.
“One parent was so impressed — and we needed a new bicycle for one of our athletes — that he paid for it. He said, ‘I just have to do this.’ I just thought that was so incredibly, incredibly neat,” she said.
The support coming from the Delaware State Police year after year, said McIntosh, has been another wonderful gift. She added that many from the community have been supportive of the camp, including North Bay Marina, which this year, for the second year, donated a boat and fuel and gave campers rides on Millers Creek.
“What a wonderful gift that has been. It just gives us one more activity we can do with them,” she said. “The community here has really reached out and is really helpful. I just can’t tell you enough about this community. They really do come forward when we need things.”
McIntosh said that the camp has really helped many of her athletes socialize with fellow athletes and unified partners. (“Unified” is a term from Special Olympics’ Project Unify — an education- and sports-based program focusing on athletic and leadership opportunities for both those with and without intellectual disabilities, as well as on acceptance. Currently, there are more than 80 schools in Delaware participating in Project Unify.)
“We had a number of athletes that didn’t talk very much, and they’re all talking now because of the socialization. It’s not enough just for them to do it but they have to do it with each other,” she said. “The unified partners have been an incredible bonus. These are generally high school kids who come and partner with an athlete. That’s an incredible project.”
More than 40 volunteer counselors and camp staff from all over the state attend each camp.
“Most of them are from high schools that are part of our Project Unify club,” said Buzby of the volunteers. “The purpose of the club is to engage regular education students with those with intellectual disabilities. It has been overwhelming, the way the program has grown over the last several years.
“The high school kids get involved and they just want more. A lot of the high school students that are here today were here a week ago, were here the year before that. There were several who started when they were in high school who are now in college that are back.”
Annie Manista, 17, of Hockessin volunteered as a camp counselor last week for the second year in a row.
“My friend’s sister has Down syndrome, and he’s very involved with Special Olympics. He was telling me about it and asked if I wanted to participate, too. So I did. I got involved with the Newark Dragon. Then I heard about camp and signed up for it,” she said.
“I just like the whole environment, and everyone here — the campers and the counselors. I just thought it was very welcoming. Everyone has such a good time, and no one has to worry about fitting in. I really like that.”
Manista said she had so much fun volunteering at the camp last year that she recommended the camp to many of her friends and classmates.
“Two of my friends are here with me, too. I told them about it — that’s why they’re here this summer,” she said. “It’s so much fun with all the activities. Even though you’re not the same age as them or anything, you’re both here for the same idea — you just want to have a good time.”
Manista said she definitely plans to volunteer for the camp next summer and hopes to be able to attend both sessions.
“I looked forward to this all summer — especially coming from last year. I just had such a good time.”
Buzby said that, as Project Unify grows, Special Olympics hopes to have a club in every school in the state, with a corresponding Special Olympics team.
“What we hope, ultimately, is that these volunteer counselors that you see here today and in the high schools, that in 10 years, when they’re in a position to make a decision about whether to hire somebody with Down syndrome, they reflect on their experience here and realize that, just because that person has Down syndrome or autism, doesn’t mean they can’t do a certain job.”
He added that Bak has been working for SODE for years and is a wonderful employee.
“Carol will come into our office and she’ll stuff envelopes for eight hours nonstop. She sits until you tell her it’s lunchtime. She’s more productive than anybody in our office would be.
“It’s not menial work to her, like it would be to a lot of people. She enjoys it and enjoys the satisfaction of doing it right. She knows it’s something that needs to be done. She knows it’s a productive thing,” he said. “I remember her mom telling us — this was years ago — how excited Carol was when the mailing she prepared arrived at home. She was telling everyone, ‘I did this.’ It was pretty cool.”
The summer camp has become a family affair for many, including Cimaglia, whose daughter Jaclyn Izzi a SODE athlete and attends the camp, along with other her daughter and son, Karen and Gary Cimaglia, who serve as counselors.
“It’s cool to have them all here,” said Cimaglia. “For my daughter Jaclyn, this is the first time she’s ever come to camp. She’s having a great time, which is really cool.
“When you have kids, you hope they want to give back and do good things and be together — and with me,” she said with a laugh. “They still want to be involved in what I do and with each other… It’s nice to see they believe in what I do and want to be a part of it.”
Buzby said that he, too, used to bring his eldest son to camp when it first started.
“I brought him here to help me. When the camp first started, we used to bring 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds to camp. So I was in charge of the cabin with the little guys, so I would bring him down to help. He enjoyed it — he loved it,” he recalled. “Now I’m on my second marriage and my 7-year-old wants to come to camp, so I will be bringing him. They get exposed to it early on.”
Buzby said it’s always wonderful that the camp “sells out” and said SODE is happy to provide a wonderful camp experience to its athletes in the summer months.
“If you ask the athletes, they’ll tell you it’s the highlight of their summer. Their parents will tell us it’s the highlight of their summer when they come. The parents enjoy them having this opportunity to come. They know they’re sending them to a place where their child is well cared for, safe, and is going to have a good time.”
For more information about Special Olympics Delaware, or to donate, volunteer or sign up an athlete, visit www.sode.org.
Delaware State Police this week were investigating a two-vehicle crash that occurred mid-morning on Tuesday near Dagsboro and involved what was later reported as a stolen car.
Troopers responded to the intersection of DuPont Boulevard (US113) and Swamp Road around 10 a.m. on Aug. 26, after calls about a hit-and-run crash that had just occurred. Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2007 Honda Accord being operated by an 82-year-old Ocean City, Md., woman had been northbound on Route 113, approaching Swamp Road, when a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu failed to yield the right-of-way as it was crossing from west to east on Swamp Road.
Police said the two vehicles collided in the intersection of the northbound lanes and that the Malibu continued to drive eastbound on Swamp Road approximately two miles before stopping. There, the unknown operator abandoned the vehicle and fled in an unknown direction, they said. The Accord came to a stop in the northbound lanes.
The Ocean City woman and her three adult female passengers were all properly restrained and were transported to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, where they were treated for undetermined injuries.
DSP troopers, assisted by the Selbyville and Dagsboro police departments, along with a DSP K9 officer and aviation unit, searched for the operator of the Malibu for approximately an hour and a half without any results, police said.
While conducting the crash investigation, dispatchers in the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center were contacted by a 36-year-old Dagsboro woman who reported that her 2006 Chevrolet Malibu had been stolen from her residence on Gum Tree Road sometime between 1 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. The information matched the description of the vehicle that was involved in the collision that morning.
The man driving the Malibu at the time of the accident was described as a black man, approximately 30 to 35 years old, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, wearing a white shirt and tan pants.
If anyone has any information in reference to the incident, they are being asked to contact Trooper First Class S. Devenney at (302) 856-5850, ext. 333, or by utilizing the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at: http://www.delaware.gov/apps/. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
Delaware State Police this week were investigating the death of a taxi cab driver who was found in a cab in Millsboro. William Toomey, 45, of Millsboro, a driver employed by Delaware Beach Taxi was found deceased in the cab on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
According to police, about 10 p.m. on Aug. 20, Delaware State Police were contacted by a citizen reporting a suspicious vehicle parked on the shoulder of Country Living Road west of Hardscrabble Road. Troopers who arrived at the scene found an unresponsive Toomey inside of the passenger compartment of the taxi. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Toomey’s was classified as a homicide by the Division of Forensic Science, though details of the cause and manner of his death were not released due to the ongoing investigation.
“This is considered an active and ongoing investigation by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit,” said Sgt. Paul G. Shavack, director of Public Information for the DSP. “Delaware State Police detectives have been given assignments, and there is a considerable amount of work and interviews to be conducted to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident,” he added.
“We are actively engaged with the investigation, following leads and conducting interviews. I do not want to jeopardize any of these efforts by discussing the investigative details, techniques or methods utilized.”
Detectives are requesting that anyone who may have observed the taxi in the Millsboro, area between 8 and 9 p.m. on Aug. 20 to contact state police. Anyone with information in regard to the incident is being asked to contact Homicide Detective Mark Ryde at (302) 299-6102 or by utilizing the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at www.delaware.gov/apps.
Information can also be provided to the Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com. Anonymous tips may also be sent to police via text, to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
For 37 years, the Nanticoke Indian Association has been holding an annual powwow, welcoming the community to attend and learn about Nanticoke history.
“To the average layman, they would probably think of it as a festival. It’s actually a gathering of Native Americans exhibiting their wares, and dancing and singing,” explained Sterling Street, coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum. “It’s a reuniting of Indian people while also exhibiting our culture to the public.”
This year, the powwow will be held on Sept. 6 and 7 at the powwow grounds east of Millsboro, near the museum.
The grounds will open at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6, with Grand Entry at noon. A second dance session will be held at 4 p.m., with the grounds closing for the day at 7 p.m. On Sept. 7, the Worship Service will begin at 10 a.m., with Grand Entry at 1 p.m. Dancing, storytelling and more will be held throughout that afternoon before the grounds close at 5 p.m.
All-day parking, including admission, costs $10 per car, while walk-in admission costs $3 for adults and $3 for children. Parking and admission costs $5 for motorcycles or $25 for buses plus $3 for each person on the bus, with the driver needing to collect the fee for each person on the bus.
Street said many visitors enjoy attending to watch the various dances performed, including the shawl dance.
“It’s all ladies who do the dance. The women make their shawls, which represent the winged creatures of the earth. They are an honored part of us, and the feathers are also important to our culture,” he explained. “Birds are the closest thing to the Creator — that’s why we honor them. We know the birds travel the four corners of the earth. We are a people who honor the four directions.”
The men’s grass dance has tribe members dancing in long, fringed regalia, which Street said is meant to imitate the grass.
“From the early days, they said the grass dancers were the ones that went out on the prairie where they were going to have a ceremony and they would go and stomp the grass down. That’s where the grass dance originated.”
The fancy dance is performed by both men and women, who wear feathered and colorful regalia.
“They dance very fast — it’s a modern dance with very quick steps,” he said. “A lot of people really like to watch them because they crouch down and they jump up, and turn around really fast. With all their regalia on, it’s very pretty and colorful.”
Another dance that will be performed is the round dance, a social dance.
“It’s the most popular. It comes from the earlier friendship dances. It’s open — anyone, including visitors, are allowed to participate.”
Authentic Native American food and wares will be available for purchase.
“We have approximately 40 vendors from all across the United States selling their wares, from turquoise and silver to leather handmade bags. We have vendors from all over the United States that come. We even have a couple of vendors from Ecuador who are Ecuadorian Indians,” said Street.
The powwow offers a chance to get a taste of Native American foods, as well.
“We have traditional fry bread, Indian tacos and succotash. We have many other foods, too, but those are the traditional Indian foods.”
Street said that, last year, approximately 12,000 people attended the two-day powwow.
“Everybody we talk to thinks it’s great,” he said. “It’s a reuniting of family and friends, but it’s also a spiritual time for us all. From the dances to our Sunday church service, it’s time for us to thank the Creator for blessing us through the whole year, and also asking the Creator to bless those who have passed during the year, that have gone to the great beyond.”
Many return to the powwow year after year, but Street said they hope to draw first-timers, too, to help educate and expose them to the history of the Nanticoke people.
“We hope people will realize our history and the plight of the Native Americans that has been going on throughout the years… We hope to bring awareness,” he said. “Even they might have some Native American blood in them, if their families were here in the early 1700s. We’re still here, and we are very special people.”
The powwow grounds are located at 26800 John J. Williams Highway (Route 24), in the middle of a wooded area about 8 miles east of Millsboro. Signs will be posted along Route 24 between Routes 113 and 1.
Two satisfying splashes hit White’s Creek on Aug. 22 when two mute swans returned home. Several happy neighbors witnessed the satisfying end to a four-year bird battle.
“It’s taken me four years to get them back,” said Susan Ritter.
After two other swans were shot by state wildlife officials in 2011 as part of an effort to remove a species declared invasive, local residents doubled down on their efforts to bring the pair back from the Assawoman Wildlife Refuge. Originally residing in White’s Creek for 14 years, they were possibly driven off when the second pair of swans took their place in a territory grab, Ritter said.
Those invading swans were shot and killed in January of 2011 as part of the “mute swan management plan” operating under the Delaware Department of Natural Resource’s (DNREC’s) Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
Mute swans are a non-native species and were considered invasive, with the potential to drive off native species and do damage to vegetation that serves as habitat for native species.
As the Coastal Point has previously reported, Gary Clevenger had formerly resided along White’s Creek and had at some point acquired a pair of swans, which subsequently had three cygnets. They growing family was reported to DFW around 2010.
Although DNREC maintained that part of the original permit for that pair allowed DNREC to euthanize newcomers that were not banded, locals were horrified and furious.
With support from state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr., they hounded DNREC into placing a moratorium on the killing of swans.
From there, the locals were represented by John Grandy, a top-level advisor for the Humane Society of the United States. Grandy credited DFW Director Dave Saveikis for negotiating a management plan everyone would like.
“We worked out a management plan for mute swans in Delaware, which will allow them to live in habitats where people are around” and allow the State to maintain its facilities, Grandy said. “He’s going to issue a group permit to the citizens here.”
Some of those citizens were on Clevenger’s former dock (he has since moved away) on Aug. 22, having released the birds from a penned area nearby and into the Millville creek.
“That’s exactly where they belong. This is where they come from originally,” Ritter said.
“Senator, if you hadn’t come to our first meeting and given us political strength, we would be looking at dead swans,” Grandy said to Hocker. “I’m very happy with the way it worked out.”
Ritter said these swans, marked as “DE01” (the female) and “DE02” (the male), swam back to Millville once this past winter when the water froze over, but they had remained in Assawoman otherwise.
Having been retrieved from Assawoman, they were re-acclimated to the once-familiar setting in a backyard pen for two days before slipping into the water and immediately touring the creek, where people on all sides stepped out to see the animals.
“We hope they’re going to stay,” Grandy said.
Ritter said the swans love lettuce, but people can’t get too close. After all, the swans are wild animals.
Those who have missed the signs for Jakarta’s Indonesian Grill along Route 26 in Clarksville have also been missing out on one of the area’s most unique spots to eat.
Husband-and-wife owners Dave Olson and Tri “Kiky” Sari have introduced an authentic taste of Indonesia to Sussex County — one that, for the most part, can’t be found anywhere else.
“We’ve had a lot of people come up and say, ‘You’re the only curry place in town,’ and they come here just for the curry,” said Olson of some of the Jakarta’s regulars.
“They always come back to me and say, ‘There’s something different about your food,’” added Sari.
From their food truck located next to the colorful shop Liddy Loves Clothes, Sari has been serving up a variety of traditional Indonesian cuisine, including beef and chicken curry, Javanese fried rice, Javanese fried noodles and, on the weekends, chicken satay.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Sari learned many of her recipes from her mother, who started teaching her to cook at the age of 3.
“My mom had a little catering business at the time,” Sari said of her early introduction to both cooking and the traditional cuisine of her native country.
While she was in high school, the catering business turned into a café on the side of the road, but when Sari got to college, still in Indonesia, she began to focus on her studies — which is also how she met Olson.
“I was the research project,” Olson joked about how the couple met in 2002 while Sari was researching online dating for her thesis. “We conversed for about four months or so, and then I just said ‘OK — I’m going.’”
When Olson arrived in Indonesia, the two of them spent some time traveling around Jakarta while Sari introduced him to the food and the culture, eventually returning to get married and moving to the United States together in August of 2003.
For years, they worked corporate jobs and moved around, from Kansas City to Newark and from Las Vegas to Phoenix, with Sari continuing to pursue cooking at home and catering on the side.
But it wasn’t until the day that Sari was let go that she really began to devote herself to her craft. That’s a day the two remember well, and they described it as the day that changed everything.
“The day that she got let go, it was OK,” Olson explained.
“It was a relief, actually,” Sari described. “This is what I want to do, so I left my corporate America behind. This is my dream.”
From that moment, Sari began researching restaurant locations, food trucks for sale and everything else involved in the process, until Jakarta’s opened its door this summer. The end of her corporate career had marked the beginning of what she sees as her true calling — and she and Olson now work side by side as a team, happier than they’ve ever been.
“We’ve always had a good working relationship. This only made sense,” Olson explained of how the two used to work for the same company in different departments that would often interact.
Their different nationalities and perspective on cuisine also help them cater to their customers, as often Olson gives his wife feedback on how he thinks the American customer will like a new dish that she has created.
“He can tell me what the American would like to see,” Sari explained. “I want to go authentic all the way.”
However, even some of her more unique dishes have been well received by everyone from people who have visited Indonesia and loved the food and Indonesian natives to those who have never tried anything like it. The food sends some on a food vacation, while others are sent back home.
While, for now, the couple is happy to be living their dream, that doesn’t mean they won’t continue on with it. This fall, Sari plans on incorporating some of her soups and different dishes, and the main goal is to one day open up a storefront, so that even more dishes can be offered — including her seafood dishes.
Jakarta’s is located at 34902 Atlantic Avenue in Clarksville. For a full menu or more information, visit their website at www.jakartas.net or call them directly at (480) 745-0561. Right now, the restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and catering is available.
For one weekend only, Sept. 4-7, the Dickens Parlour Theatre will host Neil Simon’s comedy “The Sunshine Boys,” which celebrates the best in classic sketch comedy, with beloved characters from the Vaudeville era.
An evening of conversation and performance will include a live reading featuring veteran performers Bob Fitch, Rich Bloch, David Kovac, Lisandra Tena and friends.
In “The Sunshine Boys,” Al and Willie, as “Lewis and Clark,” were top-billed stars for more than 40 years. Now they aren’t even speaking. When CBS requests them for a “History of Comedy” retrospective, a grudging reunion brings the two famous performers back together, along with a flood of memories, miseries and laughs.
Bob Fitch is an award-winning actor who has appeared in more than 25 original Broadway shows. Rich Bloch is an actor, magician, writer and the founder of Dickens Parlour Theatre. David Kovac is one of Chicago busiest entertainers, having “honed characterization and comic timing to perfection,” according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
Lisandra Tena was named one of the “Top 5 emerging artists to watch” by the Chicago Tribune, and her recent appearances include a reoccurring role on the television show “Chicago PD.”
Tickets to the show, which will start at 7 p.m. each night, cost $25 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.dptmagic.com
Many teachers have reached into their own pockets for the benefit of students, whether for school supplies or another need. Restaurateur Matt Haley wanted to ease that pressure and did so recently with a $500 grant for each of his 15 employees who teach during the year.
Haley, who was killed as the result of a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian mission in India on Monday, Aug. 18, had recently announced the Matt Haley Companies’ (MHC’s) Teacher Fund, designed to support all teachers who work part- or full-time for MHC.
“Any student of a teacher that works with us is a student of ours. No underprivileged student will ever not be prepared with school supplies again. We commit to supporting our students with supplies so the teachers will not have to,” Haley said in announcing the effort earlier this summer.
“The aim of the fund is to ensure children in the classrooms of our teachers are fully funded and have the supplies and resources to be successful,” explained MHC President Scott Kammerer. “If somebody needs a pair of shoes, backpack, pencils, crayons…”
This is the first Teacher Fund, but it likely won’t be the last for MHC’s teachers. Asked if such a program would entice more teachers to take jobs within the Haley companies, Kammerer said, “I hope so!”
“I think companies that are successful should look within their own families to support [them]. Our family was supported by someone giving Matt Haley a chance. It’s in the DNA of our company to pay it forward.”
Kammerer said Haley occasionally distributed on-the-spot cash bonuses when he visited his restaurants. When one employee hesitated to accept the money, Haley encouraged her to “pay it forward.” When she purchased a stack of school supplies with that bonus, Haley was inspired to reach out to all his teacher-employees.
“Matt called all the teachers together, and he made the announcement … that he wanted to step up to the plate so that teachers didn’t have to spend their money on children in their classroom,” Kammerer had said prior to last Monday’s accident. “He sees the children [as] the future.”
As she was about to begin the new school year teaching at Cape Henlopen High School, Bridget Marshall said the teachers were floored by the announcement. She has worked seven summers at Lupo di Mare in Rehoboth Beach.
“It was unbelievable. It’s so generous for the company to just continually give back to the community and the people who work for him,” Marshall said of Haley. “He wanted to support us for doing what we do for the community.”
To access the grants, the teacher-employees can just submit a request form, even bi-weekly, to draw from their $500 allotments.
“It can be as simple as binders and paper and pencils,” Marshall said. “And by the end of the year, the need is exponential. … I have 160 students, and half of them need binders.”
Marshall’s high-schoolers don’t need a complex array of supplies, but their elementary school counterparts need colored pencils, glue sticks, markers and more.
The establishment of the Teacher Fund only brushed the surface of the work Haley had done worldwide, earning him honors as the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Humanitarian of the Year.
“Our foundation honored Matt this year not only for his compassion and commitment to helping disadvantaged children and families locally in Delaware, but also for dedicating his time and resources to help people around the world,” said JBF president Susan Ungaro last week in a memorial piece published on the foundation’s website.
The Ocean View CVS Pharmacy store was forced to close in the early evening hours on Aug. 20, due to a bomb threat.
“The CVS received a call from an unknown male caller that stated they had placed a bomb in the store. They demanded money, and if the demands were not met, they threatened to detonate the bomb,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said the OVPD arrived on the scene within two minutes of the threat.
“The manager of CVS did an outstanding job. She called police right away, alerting us, and at the same time started evacuating the store. We secured the area, cleared the store and the parking lot. We contacted the Delaware State Police and requested an explosives K-9 team. They sent us two. The dogs went through, swept the building and were unable to locate any explosive devices.”
Once it was determined there was no threat, employees and customers were allowed to return to the store, around 7 p.m.
“The entire ordeal was a little less than two hours from start to finish,” said McLaughlin.
He added that a similar threat was also made to a CVS Pharmacy in Salisbury, Md., that same day.
“While we were out there, we received a telephone call from the Salisbury City Police Department, and they informed us that they, too, had received a bomb threat at about the same time at a CVS store in Salisbury, with the same type of demands.”
McLaughlin said the investigation was ongoing, with the authorities trying to identify and locate the culprits.
“We have an active investigation into that, but quite frankly I won’t be surprised if we trace the phone call to an overseas number. If that’s the case, we’re limited in what we can do. It’s an ongoing investigation to try and identify the folks who made the threat.”
Anyone who may have information about the threat should call Ocean View Police Department at (302) 539-1111.