Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 51 | 52 | (Page 53) | 54 | 55 | .... | 197 | newer

    0 0

    The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announced this week that this year’s Catch Festival Fever fundraiser will take place at the Fort Miles Battery 519 in Cape Henlopen State Park on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.

    The annual event provides a first look at the 2014 Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival program and includes a preview of several film trailers, plus the inside scoop from Festival Program Director Joe Bilancio about films, seminars and events. The evening also features food and an open bar. Members of the Fort Miles volunteers will lead tours of Battery 519, an underground gun emplacement used during World War II.

    Those who attend will be able to take home a souvenir-quality program and notes to help them plan their selection of films to see at the festival, which will be held Nov. 5-9 at the Movies at Midway and Cape Henlopen High School Theater. Festival passes are on sale now.

    Tickets to Catch Festival Fever must be purchased in advance and may be obtained online at www.rehobothfilm.com or by calling (302) 645-9095, ext. 1. Proceeds help fund year-round programming and the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival.


    0 0

    A hockey puck, toothbrush, headphones, door, box springs, showerhead and barstool. What do these things have in common? All were collected during last year’s Coastal Cleanup, spanning the State’s 97-mile eastern coastline.

    On Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, the 28th Annual Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, will be held at nearly 50 sites throughout the state’s three counties — including Holts Landing State Park, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island State Park.

    “The Coastal Cleanup is a great opportunity to get volunteers personally involved in keeping Delaware’s beaches and waterways free of trash, not just on one Saturday in September, but also throughout the year,” said Joanna Wilson, who coordinates the cleanup. “It’s also a great opportunity to reach out to the general public about the importance of disposing of trash responsibly — including recycling — and keeping our beautiful state cleaner.”

    At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,900 volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected four tons of trash.

    “Delaware’s Coastal Cleanup is going on 30 years old, and I’ve been involved with the Cleanup since 2006,” said Wilson. “During that time, we’ve added some new sites, including expanding to include some watershed sites further inland; we’ve added recycling (of four tons of trash last year, two tons were recycled); and we’ve settled into about 1,800 to 1,900 volunteers on average, which is a great number for our purposes.”

    Delaware’s cleanup event is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines and lakes by volunteers.

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

    “The Ocean Conservancy uses the data for research and education,” explained Wilson. “We use it for outreach and educational purposes and also get occasional requests for data on particular types of trash, such as how many cigarette butts were found on a certain beach, or to show how certain types of trash are decreasing or increasing.”

    Those who are interested in participating in the cleanup are being strongly encouraged to pre-register by Tuesday, Sept. 9. Those who wish to volunteer are recommended to dress for the weather and bring their own beverages and snacks. Trash bags, gloves and other supplies will be provided by the site captain at each site, who will direct and assist the volunteers.

    “The event is great for all ages. We encourage close supervision of children in handling trash — especially younger ones. We see multi-generational families, scout troops, 4-H groups, church and community groups, clubs, schools and businesses. Many of our volunteers return every year.”

    To preregister for the event, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/CoastalCleanup. For more information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.


    0 0

    Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Heather Bethurum took over the job of principal at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School at the beginning of this school year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Heather Bethurum took over the job of principal at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School at the beginning of this school year.Living just 15 minutes from Phillip C. Showell Elementary, the school’s new principal can’t wait to get involved in her school community, and Heather Bethurum’s short commute to Selbyville means she can really live in her school community.

    “It’s so much easier to be involved in evening things,” she said, coming from Millsboro. “It’s important to go to the festivals or see kids at the grocery store sometimes, and I didn’t see that at Seaford. I loved my school, but it was just time to consolidate.”

    Bethurum was principal of Blades Elementary in Seaford for two years. Before becoming assistant principal, she taught art and enrichment.

    In the beginning of her PCS tenure, Bethurum is “just getting to know everybody. There are so many things that are working here so well. The challenge is not to change things that are working so well,” but step into the system and make changes together. “The staff here is very capable. I’d rather come in alongside them.

    “What a fabulous school. The staff has been so friendly,” Bethurum said. “The community’s been wonderful.”

    She’s worked with returning Assistant Principal Brandon Snyder on a revamped schedule and local emergency responders for drills.

    A major change at PCS is school-wide math and reading sessions each morning. Response to Intervention is not new, but now everybody in the school will be working to identify the specific needs of each child, first thing every day.

    “It means that every staff member is a part of it, so there’s more people to really target what kids need,” Bethurum said. “Students come first in all decisions. That’s the reason we’re all here.”

    However, she said everyone is important. “The staff are valued, the parents are valued… We have to treat people like they’re equally important.”

    Finally, “What we do matters.” That’s beyond the teaching, but how they act and interact with each other, she said.

    “At my heart, we’re always going to be working on things like the reading, the shifts, the wanting to do our jobs better,” but Bethurum thinks “the most important thing is the heart of the school. My biggest goal at the school is to get us … all on the same page. Let’s do our craft well.”

    As a child growing up near Washington, D.C., Bethurum vacationed for years in coastal Delaware. She eventually followed her family into education, and they followed her to Delaware.

    “My mother was always a teacher or administrator, so I think it was destined to be. As a kid, it was the only thing I didn’t want to do, but I just love it.”

    After studying biology and fine arts to become a watercolorist (she has taught and displayed her work in art galleries), Bethurum went to graduate school for education and educational leadership.

    With two children beginning college and middle school, Bethurum still loves to paint, spend time with family and travel. She’s visited 27 countries, having worked overseas several times, including at an Egyptian orphanage.

    “I love what I do. I love what I do,” Bethurum said, hoping Phillip C. Showell knows “how excited I am to get to know them all and how really honored I am to be part of their community and be their principal.”


    0 0

    In 1965, Jeanne Smith graduated from the Beebe School of Nursing. About 10 years later, she returned to Beebe as a staff nurse, splitting her time between the hospital and a private doctor’s office.

    In 1985, she was appointed the first nurse manager of the newly created employee health department. At the time, Beebe had 300 employees. Today, the healthcare system employs more than 2,000 people. And Smith developed the employee health program to what it is today.

    After 30 years, Smith was set to retire on Tuesday, Sept. 2. She will continue to work some casual hours and fill in for other employee health team members when they are on vacations.

    “The thing I will miss the most is the employees,” she said. “I know every single employee here. We have wonderful people, and I really love getting to know each person.”

    Smith said that, in her position, she has met people from all walks of life — people with outside interests from music to home repair, the latter of which is what Smith said she expects to spend much of her retirement doing: continuing to restore the older home she and her husband have been restoring for 30 years.

    “My husband says I am going to repaint every room because that is what I like to do,” Smith said with her signature smile and a chuckle.

    The couple also plans to travel and visit their five children and grandchildren. In addition, she will be cheering her husband on as he attempts to complete 50 marathons in 50 states. She is also looking forward to spending time in Santa Fe, N.M., which she calls her home away from home.

    “At 70, I want to leave at the top of my game,” she said of her decision to retire. “I will really miss the employees and my team here … that’s the hard part of deciding to leave.”

    Smith said her memories stem back to before computers. She recalls completing paperwork on a typewriter before one of the executives put an old Apple computer on her desk.

    “She put it there and told me to play around with it,” she said. “I never had any formal computer training.”

    Then, employees only received one TB test — at time of hire — but today team members get the test annually.

    “When I started, if a nurse was stuck with a needle (while tending a patient), she just wiped it off and put a Band-Aid on,” Smith said. “Today, because of all the information we have about blood-borne pathogens, there is a whole standard process to follow for needle sticks. It is a critical part of employee health because people at the hospital are more at risk than others.”

    Smith’s commitment to health is apparent in her compassion and caring for all Beebe team members, Beebe representatives said.

    “Every time I have a chance, I try to encourage people to embrace a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, exercise and positive thinking,” Smith said.

    Teresa “Terri” Schuster, RN, MSN, will be taking over the role of Employee Health Manager. Barbara Portz, RN, Donna Egolf, LPN, and four casual nurses will continue in the department, as well.

    “For more than 30 years, Jeanne Smith has been an advocate for patients and employees at Beebe; first as a nurse on our inpatient units and second as the manager of our employee health program. As Beebe team members, we always knew that if we had a medical issue we could go to employee health and Jeanne Smith would take care of us, as if were family,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, president and CEO, Beebe Healthcare.

    “Like any good leader, Jeanne has developed a group of employee health nurses who offer the same kind of care and compassion that she believes are essential for our employee health program, but she leaves big shoes to fill. We wish her the very best in her retirement and know that she will enjoy spending time with her children, grandchildren, and chasing her husband around the country!”

    “Jeanne is going to be truly missed by many Beebe team members. However, no one is going to miss her more than her co-workers in the Human Resources Department,” said Katie Halen, vice president of Human Resources for Beebe Healthcare. ”Jeanne’s caring manner and her ability to treat all team members with respect and dignity will never be forgotten.”


    0 0
  • 09/11/14--09:16: Marsh walk set for Sept. 20
  • Delaware Seashore State Park is considered a prime location for one of Delaware’s most unique and important habitats: the inland bay marshlands. Visitors can join a park naturalist on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. to explore the disappearing resource, learn about the various plants and animals that can be found there, and gain an understanding of their important role in the health of Delaware’s Inland Bays.

    The fee for the program is $4, and pre-registration is required, as space is limited. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and visitors should wear close-toed shoes that can get muddy.

    The program meets at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum, located 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. For more information or to register, contact the Indian River Life-Saving Station at (302) 227-6991 or at destateparks.com.


    0 0

    One of the most popular activities in Delaware Seashore State Park is to comb the undeveloped beaches for seashells and other signs of marine life. Occasionally, park visitors are lucky enough to spot pieces of sea glass that have washed up in the surf.

    The public is being invited to bring a favorite piece of sea glass to the park on Sunday, Sept. 21, and learn how to turn it into a jewelry pendant using simple wire-wrap techniques. Those who haven’t found the perfect piece yet will be able to choose a piece of sea glass from the park’s collection.

    The same day, at 1 p.m., the new class “Sea Glass Part II” will build upon the pendant class. Participants will create their own earring set using a more difficult and abstract wrapping method. (It is strongly recommended that “Earrings” participants take the “Pendant” class first or have prior experience with wire-wrapping techniques.)

    The fee for each program is $15, which includes all materials and instruction. The class is considered suitable those 12 or older, but those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Space and materials are limited, so registration is required and can be done by calling (302) 227-6991.

    The Indian River Life-Saving Station is located in Delaware Seashore State Park, 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet and 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach. More information is available at destateparks.com.


    0 0

    Cars and trucks crawled through Millville on Aug. 28, an appropriate backdrop to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s visit to the Route 26 Mainline construction project. Carper toured the state Thursday to talk federal transportation funding in regard to Route 26, Milford’s new Route 1 overpass and Wilmington’s Christina River Bridge.

    These major projects and their like are some that he said could face roadblocks unless Congress approves a long-term transportation bill by year’s end. Previously, Congress approved a measure extending transportation authorization and funding through May 2015.

    “Federal funding doesn’t flow unless there’s a State match,” Carper explained. Once Delaware agrees to contribute, the feds must find funding.

    “Imagine three glasses,” Carper said: the Federal Transportation Trust Fund, the U.S. General Fund and foreign funding.

    Once the transportation fund and regular government coffers have been emptied, the United States must borrow money. The U.S. loses leverage by borrowing money because it could scold China for various reasons, but China holds the trump card by responding, “I thought you wanted to borrow money,” Carper said.

    “Things worth having are worth paying for,” Carper said. “This is worth paying for now. The federal government, we need to do our part.”

    In Millville, the Route 26 Mainline improvements project is now fully funded, but it has stalled in the past due to federal funding.

    State Sen. Gerald Hocker has often lamented the money and time Delaware might have saved if Route 26 construction had continued after the Bethany Beach leg was completed in 2001.

    “One day makes a big difference to us if something goes from residential or undeveloped to a Wawa or Royal Farms,” said Jim Satterfield, DelDOT engineer.

    Construction on the next four miles inland didn’t officially begin until 2014, although that was preceded by a unique project: the Route 26 Detour Routes project.

    It’s rare for construction projects to get their own traffic mitigation project, but the Route 26 back roads were specifically improved ahead of the mainline construction to accommodate the traffic that might be displaced by roadwork.

    “We’re not looking to close 26. We’re trying to balance the impacts and still get something done,” Satterfield said.

    Hocker praised the alternate routes project, which was not a luxury afforded during the recent improvements to Route 54.

    Because only a handful of Sussex County corridors move east-to-west, congestion and safety are even more critical, said Mike Simmons, DelDOT director of project development in southern Delaware.

    So DelDOT is trying to improve operations for each road. Route 54 widening was completed without a major detour route, so traffic frequently stagnated, and planning is now under way for improvements to Routes 9 and 24.

    “We want to make this corridor work better, more efficiently, and reduce accidents,” Simmons said — especially for left turns on and off the road.

    One car turning left off Route 26 into Millville/Ocean View Post Office can seemingly back up traffic for a half-mile, said Satterfield.

    “Being a business owner on 26, the project has gone quite smooth,” said Hocker, who has experienced the 30-minute commute over four miles on the road.

    These routes are considered so important because of Delaware’s high-quality beaches, which attract visitors and are a major source of revenue.

    “We want to make sure people have a great experience,” Carper said. “They say getting there is half the fun. We want to make sure getting there is fun and leaving doesn’t leave a bad taste in the mouth.”

    Carper is chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

    “This project really encourages people to get out of their cars, trucks and vans,” said Carper, touching on the new sidewalks and bike lanes that encourage people to transport themselves without motorized vehicles.

    “I would not let any of my family ride bikes on Route 26 in summer,” Hocker said, although he regularly cycled five miles to the beach as a boy.

    Meanwhile, when traffic flows, less oil burns and fewer engines idle.

    Currently, roadwork is permitted in the Route 26 Mainline project area around the clock, but daytime lane closures remain forbidden until Oct. 1. The night work schedule was recently adjusted for the start of Indian River School District bus traffic. Drivers can expect lane closures overnight from Monday night to Thursday night, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., and Sunday nights, 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.


    0 0

    Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Wilgus Associates employees participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in honor of their friend and co-worker, Tim Hill, the company’s vice president who has been diagnosed with ALS.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Wilgus Associates employees participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in honor of their friend and co-worker, Tim Hill, the company’s vice president who has been diagnosed with ALS.There have been many people spilling buckets of ice water on their heads lately. Locally, Wilgus Associates, an insurance, property management, real estate company, recently added another 40 people to the nationwide roster of people who have done the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. But Wilgus Associates did it for a loved one: their own Tim Hill, company vice president.

    “Some people think it’s kind of a fad on the Internet, but it’s real people who have this debilitating, 100 percent fatal disease,” said Hill.

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, the brain is unable to control, or even initiate, movement in the muscles, often leading to paralysis.

    Often recorded on video, the Ice Bucket Challenge encourages people to pour ice water over their heads, and/or make a donation to ALS, then challenge their friends to do the same. The ALS Association has raised nearly $100 million in the month since the challenge went viral.

    “It’s cold! I made sure I put plenty of ice in,” said a soaking wet David Wilgus, who issued a good-natured challenge to several business competitors.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge really hit home for the company after Hill was diagnosed in May. Wilgus Associates wanted to support their coworker of 30 years. So the company also vowed to donate $100 per employee who participated.

    So about 30 Wilgus employees, plus another 10 friends and family members, lined up outside their Coastal Highway office for a mass ice bath as passing traffic honked and waved.

    “This is going to the facility where Tim has his therapy,” said Wilgus. “It’s a great cause.”

    “It’s more important to find a place that has real support after people have been diagnosed,” said Hill, who attends Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s ALS Clinic.

    Even his wife, Cindy, found the support she needed as a spouse.

    “We’re excited to go on Thursday [for eight hours]. It’s as if we are the only people in the world there,” she said.

    For Hill, the warning signs of ALS began around January of 2013 — “Simple things, like cramping in legs and Charlie horses and falling,” Hill said. “You’re not picking your feet up as far as you think.”

    He was familiar with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he didn’t immediately make the connection to his body.

    “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been able to walk every day, which is not the norm. That’s unusual,” Hill said. The support is “overwhelming,” he said. “The Wilgus family has been so supportive of me through all of it — the owners and the staff. I wasn’t expecting it at all.”


    0 0

    Michael Loftus, owner of Loftus Wealth Strategies in Millville was recently named a Five Star Wealth Manager for 2014 by Five Star Professional, a company that researches and recognizes outstanding service professionals.

    According to FiveStarProfessional.com, Five Star Professional conducts research to help consumers with the important decision of selecting a service professional. The Five Star award is presented to wealth managers, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, home/auto insurance professionals and dentists in more than 45 markets in the U.S. and Canada. The Five Star award recognizes service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. Five Star Professional was started in 2003 and has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

    Loftus Wealth Strategies is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year.

    “This award is a wonderful nod to my professional work, and happens to coincide with our five-year anniversary. I take great pride in caring for my clients, and so recognition as a Five Star Professional is an honor,” said Loftus. “I provide a high level of experience, with hands on attention. I enjoy the challenge of helping my clients achieve their dreams and desires, and to be recognized for this is a dream come true.”

    Loftus Wealth Strategies offers investment advisory services, featuring individualized strategies to protect, save, accumulate and manage his clients’ portfolios. Loftus has openings for new clients but plans to cap the service to 125 households.

    “I deliberately maintain a small client base in order to provide focused attention for my clients,” said Loftus, who offers wealth management and financial planning, legacy planning and more. Loftus also offers free financial educational programs and workshops designed to boost financial wellness.

    Loftus also attributeed much of his success to being a local company, providing small-town service, with big-city experience.

    “I am very proud that I am ‘local.’ My clients know they are being serviced with top-notch expertise right in their own back yard. One may reside in our area and know that your professional ‘must-haves’ can be met right here,” said Loftus.


    0 0

    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Twilley's Hot Dog Hut offers custom made dogs inspired by the cities that are famous for them, but the Fenwick based restaurant also features a lot more.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Twilley's Hot Dog Hut offers custom made dogs inspired by the cities that are famous for them, but the Fenwick based restaurant also features a lot more.While the dog days of summer may be dwindling, the hot dog days are just getting under way in Fenwick Island, as Twilley’s Hot Dog Hut opened its doors last week, just in time for Labor Day. Owned by Fenwick local Mark Twilley, who brings extensive restaurant-industry experience, the venture has been a long time in the making.

    “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. To actually be in the town I grew up in — it’s awesome, it makes it even better,” he said of being able to launch a business in his home town. “A lot of friends and family have come in to help support me, and I’m greatly appreciative of that and, hopefully, the word of mouth spreads and [we] just keep picking up the business.”

    Twilley said he got the idea for the business when he and his girlfriend, Tara Sansone, were brainstorming ideas for things that the area was missing.

    “We always wanted to start our own place,” he explained. “[Tara is] from Cape May, and there’s a couple places in Southern Jersey that are this concept, and I just noticed that there wasn’t anything in the area, so I decided to go for it.”

    The shop, located right off Route 1 in the Village of Fenwick, across the street from the beach, features a casual atmosphere for beach-goers and patrons to either dine in or carry out.

    “I definitely want a little surf hut. I have a surfboard I’m gonna put up there, surf pictures up, play surf DVDs — kind of a beachy theme, very casual,” Twilley explained of the atmosphere. “Come in off the beach with your board shorts, flops, no flops — you can come in no shirt, no shoes, no problem.”

    To ensure that customers can get back to the beach as quickly as possible, the shop usually boils their 100 percent beef, gluten-free dogs — but Twilley said that, if a customer wants their hot dog grilled, they’re more than happy to do it.

    “Our dogs are all boiled, but I can grill them if you’d like,” he said. “I want a good, fast product, so you don’t have to lose much beach time. Come off the beach, grab a hot dog, and — boom — you’re back to the beach.”

    While customers won’t have to wait long to get their lunch, it may take them a while to decide what to order, as the shop offers a wide variety of custom-made hot dog creations inspired by cities that are famous for them.

    “I wanted to incorporate cities that specialize and are known for their types of hotdogs,” Twilley said of creations like the Baltimore, with crab meat, Old Bay and mac-and-cheese. “[My favorite] right now would be the Chicago — it’s a good classic; it’s very loaded up, got a little bite to it.”

    In addition to the city dogs, the menu also features a few “Twilley Dogs,” such as the fried bacon dog with barbecue sauce and cheddar, the Cubano with swiss and pulled pork, and the Caprese with mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar.

    If one of the city dogs or other custom dogs isn’t what you had in mind, you can also create your own dog using any of the fixings, or order one of the many other menu items offered aside from hot dogs.

    “I wanted to have some things other than hot dogs, a little healthier,” Twilley explained, noting some of his house-made salads, fish tacos, pulled pork tacos, veggie or barbecue chicken paninis, and chicken wraps.

    One of the more unique menu items was inspired by his wintertime home of Puerto Rico, as he has incorporated both chicken and tuna “pinchos” as a tribute to a country that has become his second home.

    “My take on Puerto Rico — a pincho is basically like a skewer, a kabob,” he explained. “The chicken I marinate in a sofrito, dress it up with a little barbecue sauce and piece of bread on top; and same with the fish — tuna cooked to temp on a skewer served with tartar sauce.”

    After a successful and busy opening week and Labor Day weekend, the shop will stay open through October and could stay open even later into the season, depending on business. This spring, however, Twilley plans on opening back up in April and kicking off their first full summer with a grand opening and even a hot dog eating contest.

    “I’m hoping to do a hot dog eating contest, maybe Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “I know July 4th is the Coney Island Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, but maybe Memorial Day weekend or a few weekends before, and really kick off the season.”

    Currently, the shop is open Thursday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Orders can be called in at (302) 581-0255 or find out more on their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/Twilleyshotdog.


    0 0

    Coastal Point • Submitted: Brown Box Theatre Project will be bringing ‘Macbeth’ to the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Above, the three witches gather ’round the cauldron to cast a spell.Coastal Point • Submitted: Brown Box Theatre Project will be bringing ‘Macbeth’ to the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Above, the three witches gather ’round the cauldron to cast a spell.“Double, double, toil and trouble” — the witches’ caldron will bubble on the beach at the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and those who attend can bring a beach chair, blanket, picnic and friends.

    For the fourth year, the Brown Box Theatre Project is bringing free outdoor performances of a different Shakespeare play to Delmarva. This year, we are being treated to “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s spellbinding vision of ambition, treachery, mystery and magic.

    Whether one’s last connection with Shakespeare was in high school or you are a devotee of the bard, audiences are consistently delighted by Brown Box’s innovative, enthusiastic, youthful and totally professional treatment of every scene.

    The Brown Box Theatre Project was founded in 2009 by Kyler Taustin, who grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and graduated from Emmerson College’s theater directing program. He saw a need for classical and contemporary theater to be equally available for all members of any community, not just the privileged few.

    As noted on their website (www.thebrownboxtheatre.org), the first free performance was “Twelfth Night” in Ocean City, Md., in 2011, financed with a Kickstarter campaign and a prayer. Brown Box’s current Shakespeare season includes a dozen locations throughout Delmarva.

    Like the traveling medieval troupes that brought their shows from the cities to the villages on the back of a wagon, they load up their truck from one location and are ready to set up the next day in another. Their theatrical taste tends toward sets that are simple, characters that provoke and language that resonates. Anything that does not fit in the truck gets left behind!

    Comments on Facebook from various Macbeth performances thus far include “Fantastic,” “Amazing” and “Wonderful.” One woman who attended the show in Berlin, Md., wrote, “Thanks for a truly fabulous performance tonight! My nieces (ages 10 & 14) sat on the edges of their seats throughout the entire performance. Their first Shakespeare play was an amazing night to remember!”

    At the Indian River Life-Saving Station venue within Delaware Seashore State Park, the audience sits under the stars with the soft sounds of the ocean in the background, while being transported by the actors and the set into a different time and place. It is magical; perfect for putting one’s cares and woes on the back burner for a couple of mesmerizing hours.

    “We were told that this is Brown Box’s favorite spot for the performance,” said Laura Scharle, the park’s interpretive manager. “Last year, we had a great turnout, and everyone was asking us whether it would be an annual event. We sure hope so. Everyone loves it.”

    If you are unable to attend Thursday’s performance of Macbeth, the next closest location for Coastal Point readers is Northside Park in Ocean City on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m.


    0 0

    School bus routes are affecting more than just parents. Sharon Moore and her coworker stood before the Indian River School District Board of Education on Aug. 25 to share how direly the new bus schedule could affect Guardian Angel Daycare.

    For 17 years, she said, the district transported children from her Millsboro business to East Millsboro Elementary. But no longer. Typically watching children for about 30 parents, she said Guardian Angel will lose eight children to other daycares because the district will no longer pick up students there.

    “We have a very good reputation at East Millsboro. Ask the kindergarten teachers,” Moore said.

    Despite trying to contact the school board and other staff about the problem, she’s hasn’t felt truly heard, she said.

    “We truly want to know what we can do. We want to make this work,” Moore said. “This is affecting our business and the lives of the people we work with.”

    She questioned why the IRSD has stops for Southern Delaware School of the Arts, pays for homeless students countywide and will still pick up children at a Gumboro-based daycare, to whom she is losing business, “but not our [location] two miles up the road?”

    “We may end up closing our doors,” Moore said. “It’s killing me.”

    In other IRSD news:

    • So far, 280 more students will attend district schools than did last year.

    • The Nutrition Services Budget for 2014-2015 passed, but with some ill will.

    Board Member Donald G. Hattier voted to approve the measure “under duress.” He disapproved of federal requirements, but recognized that IRSD could lose $3.4 million in federal funding by not accepting federal provisions.

    “I resent the fact that the federal government can do this. Unfortunately, we’re still going to have to because we need the money,” Hattier said.

    Board Member Shaun Fink voted against the measure. Board Members W. Scott Collins, James Hudson and Rodney Layfield were absent.

    The board approved a temporary construction easement for Tidewater utility work near Lord Baltimore Elementary School.

    • Dealing with unfunded State mandates was added to IRSD’s legislative priorities this year.

    District officials said they hope legislators will allow funding for immigrant students who arrive after the Sept. 30 unit count (which can become a financial burden if too many new students arrive).

    Also, renovations should be “treated same as new school construction” in terms of funding priorities, they said. Restored substitute teacher funding is also being requested.

    • Howard T. Ennis School has been approved for an additional $750,000 for pool and HVAC maintenance. The projects will likely begin this year.

    • The district needs to watch its minor capital improvement budget. Currently spending a rate of $100,000 monthly, there is only $170,000 available until additional funds arrive in October. Chief Financial Officer Patrick Miller requested an itemized list of priorities to be funded.

    • Contingency funds will be dipped into for new classroom construction. Budgets at Long Neck Elementary and North Georgetown Elementary have been fully allocated, so about $2.2 million of local funds will be pulled. However, contingency money for East Millsboro Elementary will be recouped with a second influx of state funds.

    The next board meeting is Monday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. at Indian River High School.


    0 0

    Delaware State Police troopers this week charged a 19-year-old Rehoboth Beach man and a 24-year-old Millsboro man in connection with a series car break-ins and a shooting incident that occurred in the Reserves of Nassau development in Lewes in August.

    According to the DSP, the incident occurred on Thursday, Aug. 21, about 4 a.m., at a residence in the 17000 block of King Philip Way. They said a 67-year-old male resident of the home was awakened by the sound of the automatic garage door to the residence opening.

    The victim, they said, went to investigate and entered the garage area through an interior door of the house and found the exterior garage door partially opened. The victim ducked under the garage door and observed two suspects rummaging through his car located in the driveway, according to police.

    The DSP reported that the victim was confronted by a suspect later identified as Montrell T. Burton, 19, of Rehoboth Beach, who was allegedly armed with an unknown type handgun. The suspect allegedly pointed the handgun at the victim and forced him to the ground, police said, and then discharged one round in the direction of the victim.

    According to the DSP, the round did not hit the victim, and he was not injured as a result of the gunfire. Burton and a second suspect, since identified as Paris J. Boyer, 24, of Millsboro, reportedly fled the area in a Hyundai Santa Fe with undisclosed property removed from the victim’s car. During the investigation, troopers identified a total of four unsecured vehicles in the development that had been entered and had property removed.

    After further investigation into the incident and several other incidents involving thefts from unsecured vehicles that had occurred in the Lewes and Rehoboth areas, DSP detectives were able to identify and connect Burton and Boyer to the Reserves at Nassau incident, they said.

    On Thursday, Sept. 4, troopers located Boyer at his residence on Amber Winds Drive, where he was taken into custody without incident. Upon execution of a search warrant for the house and the Hyundai Santa Fe located at the residence, troopers said they discovered property and evidence connecting Boyer to the Reserves at Nassau incident.

    On Friday, Sept. 5, troopers were able to locate Burton as he was traveling as passenger in a vehicle in the Smyrna area. Troopers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, and Burton fled on foot into a nearby marsh area along Route 1. He was located by troopers and taken into custody.

    Burton was charged with a total of 15 crimes, including Robbery 1st Degree, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited after Conviction of a Violent Felony, Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Aggravated Menacing, Reckless Endangering 1st Degree, four counts of Burglary 3rd Degree, four counts of Theft Under $1,500 and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $181,000 cash bond.

    Boyer was charged with a total of nine crimes, including four counts of Burglary 3rd Degree, four counts of Theft Under $1,500 and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $17,000 secured bond.

    Troopers this week continued to investigate the incident and other incidents involving thefts from unsecured vehicles that have occurred in the Lewes and Rehoboth Beach areas.

    The Delaware State Police want to remind people to utilize the following tips:

    • Lock your car doors and roll up you windows;

    • Do not leave valuables inside your vehicle;

    • Leave outdoor lights on in the driveway or have security lighting installed;

    • Report any suspicious activity to 911.


    0 0

    In recognition of Sea Level Rise Awareness Week in Delaware, the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) will host Dr. Jonathan D. Essoka of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at its September meeting on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m. The meeting will be held at the CIB office on Inlet Road in Delaware Seashore State Park, just north of Indian River Inlet Bridge, and the public is welcome to attend.

    The theme of this year’s Sea Level Rise Awareness Week is adapting to sea level rise through green and natural solutions and will highlight how local communities and environmental organizations have been implementing projects to improve Delaware’s resiliency to a rising sea level.

    Essoka will provide an overview of the EPA’s efforts to implement sustainable policies and practices, particularly in the areas of water, climate change and communities — specifically, those actions that promote sustainability for water resources, community health and climate effects.

    He will address local effects from future climate change scenarios and how EPA Region 3 initiatives can assist regional and local planning efforts to adapt to the projections. He’ll provide examples of organizations and communities responding to the threats by adopting practices that will help them to become more sustainable.

    “With the lowest average land elevation in the U.S. at only 60 feet above sea level, and 381 miles of shoreline, coastal communities in Delaware are already experiencing the impacts of sea level rise,” CIB representatives noted.

    A calendar of events, a variety of resources, and links to all of the organizations sponsoring Delaware Sea Level Rise Awareness Week can be found at www.SOSDelaware.org.

    For more information on the CIB and its events, call Sally Boswell at (302) 226-8105, email outreach@inlandbays.org or go to the website at www.inlandbays.org.


    0 0

    Selbyville resident Devon Gordon, 18, has pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder and using a firearm to commit a felony in Sussex County Superior Court. Gordon was arrested on Oct. 1, 2013, after Selbyville police received. 911 call about a 3:30 a.m. stating that a female had been shot.

    Police arrived at a home on Hosier Street, directly across from the Southern Delaware School of the Arts, at which time the Selbyville officers found a 25-year-old woman sitting outside in a car in front of the house, with a gunshot wound to her head. Police said she had been located by her father after he heard the initial gunshot.

    Prior to the shooting, police said, Gordon had met with Banks, who was his next-door neighbor, in a Jeep parked outside the residence. During the meeting, Gordon allegedly shot the victim one time in the head.

    After the incident, police said that a 49-year-old man who lives with Gordon and his mother had heard a gunshot, followed by banging at the front door. Upon going to check on the commotion, police reported, the man heard another gunshot. He then turned to look out the back door, where the glass had allegedly just been shattered by a bullet.

    According to police, the male victim saw Gordon standing in the doorway with a gun pointed directly at him but was able to open the door and quickly disarm him. Gordon, police said, was allowed back in the house and reportedly proceeded to the second floor of the residence, where he allegedly obtained a second handgun.

    The 49-year-old man was also able to wrestle the second weapon away from Gordon, but not before a single gunshot was fired, narrowly missing the man.

    The incident occurred hours after Gordon had turned 18.

    Gordon faces a maximum sentence of life in prison plus 25 years and, having pleaded guilty, must serve at least 18 years behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10 in Superior Court.


    0 0

    For its third year, the Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) will be gracing the stage at Millville’s Dickens Parlour Theatre.

    BART began in 2012, as a non-profit with the goal of bringing local theater to the Bethany area and, through the Encore Foundation established by theater owner Rich Bloch, providing scholarships to local high school students who seek to pursue a career in the arts, either on or off stage.

    “We hope to provide scholarship money for kids in high school who want to go on to study the arts,” said Bethany Beach playwright Bob Davis, who formed BART with Bloch. “There are all kinds of arts, from music to drama. It’s a pretty broad scope.”

    In its third season, BART hopes to provide weekly entertainment to area residents and visitors in the shoulder season and winter months. Every Wednesday, patrons may attend BART’s dinner theater for $25 per person. Following dinner, which will vary each week, attendees will mosey to the theater to enjoy a performance in the intimate 50-seat theater.

    Next month, Davis’ play “The Time Collector” will be presented at Dickens on Oct. 16-18 and Oct. 23-25.

    “It’s a very interesting story. It’s about a guy who took pictures of brides over 47 years. When they closed the bridal shop they asked him if he wanted the pictures back, and he said sure,” he explained. “It was a very different way he took pictures. He used diffused lighting and bounce back lighting. The pictures are stunning when you see them.

    “His daughter told me the story of her father, how he tried to contact the brides to see if they wanted their pictures back. A lot of them remembered him and contacted him. He became sort of a celebrity in Buffalo, N.Y.”

    Davis said when he first heard the real-life story, he thought it would be perfectly presented as a play.

    “It’s all about brides receiving their pictures back and what has happened to them over the years. It’s three separate plays tied together,” he said.

    A reading of “The Time Collector” debuted at the Dramatist Guild of America on Broadway in May.

    Nov. 13-15 and 20-22, Davis’ original “Good King Succotash” will be performed at the theater. Auditions for that production will be held Sunday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Dickens. The cast will include seven females and six males, with roles ranging from 20 to 70 years old.

    “Southern Comfort,” Bloch’s one-man play about humorist Mark Twain, will be performed the first Sunday of each month beginning Oct. 5. Other showings of the play will be held on Nov. 2 and Dec. 7. The program will continue on Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 1, April 12, May 10 and June 7, 2015.

    In January, Davis said, the group will also be starting a new program, called Winter Wednesdays.

    “We’ll be having play readings. We’re going to invite the public to come in for $5,” explained Davis. “We’ll read one every week. The people who come can either sit and listen or participate. We’re going to do some really great stuff.”

    On Wednesday, Feb. 11, for Valentine’s Day, the group will perform Bernard Slade’s romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year.”

    “It’s a very funny play about two people in a relationship,” said Davis.

    For the first time in its history, BART will be putting on a musical, “A Greater Lesser Moment,” running April 16-18 and 23-25.

    “It’s the first time we’ve done a musical of any kind. Next year, we hope to do more energetic,” Davis said, who also wrote the musical.

    On Feb. 27 and 28, “Music to Warm a Cold Winter’s Evening,” featuring national touring artists Eileen Stamnas and Jim Gibney, will be performed.

    “We hope to augment some of the script reading with old scripts and old radio shows to make it more interesting,” added Davis. “It’s a nice full season this year. There are some good things coming down the pike.”

    Davis said BART plans to begin fundraising efforts to help raise money to finance other theatrical endeavors.

    “We are a nonprofit, and we are trying to do good things for the community,” Davis emphasized.

    Davis said BART and Dickens hope to bring entertainment to residents and visitors during the not-so-busy months of the year, so they don’t have to travel out of town.

    “There’s a song from the play ‘Grey Gardens’ — “It’s Winter in a Summer Town” — and it is. We have winter in a summer town, and a lot of times there’s not a lot of things to do here. We’re trying to fill that in,” he said. “We have a building population now. Look at Bay Forest, Millville By the Sea. The place is growing very rapidly. Here we’re providing things for people to do in the winter months.”

    For more information about BART or to reserve tickets, call (302) 829-1071 or visit dptmagic.com. Dickens Parlour Theatre is located at 35715 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) in Millville. Anyone who is interested in getting involved with BART can email a letter of interest to Bob Davis at RDavis6018@aol.com.


    0 0

    The seventh annual Arts & Jazz Festival will hit the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick this weekend, showcasing live jazz performances and local artists.

    “It’s a wonderful collaborative day,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. “It is a tradition [for] our programming matrix for the year. One of the aspects of our mission is diversity of art and making sure that all genres are presented.”

    The festival is set to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, with jazz performances by the Joe Baione Sextet at noon, by Cynthia Holiday at 2 p.m. and by K.J. Denhert at 4 p.m.

    There will also be 22 visual artists displaying and selling their work, ranging from painters and photographers to jewelrymakers.

    Several local artists were selected for the event, including Marcia Cupschalk, who featured her kumihimo (a Japanese form of braiding) jewelry at the Artisans Fair in Ocean View this spring.

    The artists will set up their work along the perimeter of the venue’s green, while the jazz artists perform on stage.

    “Within the jazz component, we have diversity. Jazz itself is a unique genre, so we love to showcase that,” Grimes noted. “The visual artists love being at the venue because they have the opportunity to enjoy great jazz.”

    The event is free for the public, but those attending are being encouraged to bring their own chairs. Food and beverages, as well as beer and wine, will be available for purchase at the Stage Café.

    Supporting the event is Delaware by Hand, which is part of the Biggs Museum of American Art.

    To volunteer for the event or other events held at the Freeman Stage, call (302) 436-3015 or visit www.freemanstage.org.


    0 0

    The Selbyville Town Council is holding its nose — and its breath — over the stinky situation at the Mountaire poultry processing plant in town.

    Sussex County is no stranger to agricultural odors, including manure and fertilizer, but “The stink is getting ridiculous,” said Councilman Rick Duncan at the Sept. 8 council meeting. “I’m about to call the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]. Every month we talk about the stink at Mountaire, and it’s getting ridiculous. … You can’t even sit outside at night because of the stink.”

    After “putting up with it all summer,” Duncan said Mountaire needs to be a better neighbor.

    Despite encouraging residents to report the stench to Town Hall (for an official report), the council hasn’t heard the desired feedback from Mountaire. So it’s speaking up now.

    “It’s probably about time” to take action, said Councilman Clarence “Bud” Tingle. Mayor Clifton Murray agreed that it’s time to sit down and talk with Mountaire representatives.

    “We can fine them every day,” Duncan said.

    “The effluent is fantastic,” Frank Smith III clarified, emphasizing that Mountaire’s new wastewater treatment system works well but is not capturing odor particles from the air. And it’s certainly an improvement from the 1950s and 1960s, when waste was just dumped in Sandy Branch creek. (Later, Mountaire, the EPA and Selbyville collaborated to build the town’s first major wastewater treatment plant.)

    The poultry odors may be insult added to injury. Smith said he has photographs of Mountaire trucks violating the operating agreement that Mountaire created with Selbyville in 2013.

    For instance, live-haul trucks are to be parked in a roofed parking facility, to prevent the spread of waste or manure. But Smith said the trucks have been parked under open skies while feed trucks rested indoors. Jay Murray said sporadic infractions are one thing, but repeatedly parking the trucks outside is a bigger deal.

    Town Administrator Bob Dickerson said the Town can call Mountaire’s director of operations, Jay Griffith, who began representing the company at recent council meetings. He was not present at this meeting, although Mountaire sent another representative to listen.

    “It’s better, but it’s not what it’s supposed to be,” Jay Murray said.

    Clifton Murray and Tingle said they’ve also seen trucks “bust” blindly out of the Hosier Street garages without a flagger to alert traffic.

    The council will review the operating agreement and its options. But ultimately, Duncan said, “It’s not in the Town’s best interest” to shut down Mountaire completely.

    A good grant for a bad problem

    The Selbyville Police Department recently was awarded a $19,000 grant from the Fund to Combat Violent Crime.

    Beginning in October, Selbyville can use the funding to crack down on a variety of potential crimes, including abuse, manslaughter, kidnapping, burglary, carjacking, drug crimes and rioting.

    “I like the money — especially where I’m shorthanded,” said Chief W. Scott Collins, noting that the department currently has one captain out on leave. “It allows me to put those officers on the street.”

    Unfortunately, the grant was needed because Selbyville is facing such crimes (though not all of them), including assault, robbery, weapons violations and attempted murder.

    Collins uses a “data-driven system” to pinpoint when crimes occur and how the grants are best utilized. That improves SPD’s chance of winning the grant, and makes the State happy to see results.

    Whenever Delaware courts collect a fine, an extra $15 assessment is collected for a fund not to exceed $2.125 million (excess money returns to the Delaware General Fund). That money is split between Delaware State Police and municipal police statewide.

    Full-time departments get at least $15,000, which is funding Selbyville is using to combat crime with a new voice-stress analyzer (similar to a polygraph test, which can be used to prosecute crime).

    Historically, Halloween and the holiday season are busier for police, Collins noted, though he added that he was happy to see school begin again, as August was also busier for the SPD.

    In July, the police assessed $5,896 in fines, wrote 214 tickets and had 184 calls for service. Collins said they got “exceptional results” with another State grant for overtime hours.

    In other Selbyville news:

    • Selbyville won a 2013 Water Fluoridation Award, one of 23 water systems in Delaware honored for dental health in preventing tooth decay.

    • With several industrial park businesses hoping for higher-speed Internet, Dickerson said it would cost $15,000 to bring a fiber optic cable across the state line. He is looking for State funding or a shared cost program, as the move could benefit not just the businesses, but the town and state.


    0 0

    Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Gov. Jack Markell participates in a discussion on college and scholarship opportunities at Sussex Central High School.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Gov. Jack Markell participates in a discussion on college and scholarship opportunities at Sussex Central High School.Many high-paying jobs require at least some college or training. That’s one reason Sussex Central High School seniors recently discussed the college and scholarship process with Delaware Department of Education officials and Gov. Jack Markell.

    In the cool autumn breeze of Sept. 8, Markell remembered a Wilmington student who never thought she could afford college, including the application fees. But the Class of 2015 is the second year benefitting from a Delaware and College Board agreement that “if you come from a family without a lot of money, you can apply to up to eight colleges without paying any application fee,” Markell said.

    With scholarship help, that Wilmington student got a full ride to Stanford University.

    Students can visit www.DelawareGoesToCollege.org for more information.

    Here are some tips offered to help transform seniors into college students:

    • Use the Delaware shortcuts — Last year, DelTech waived application fees, and the University of Delaware will waive fees for students who can’t pay. And if UD and Delaware State University don’t have the major someone wants, that student can find his or her dream program in 13 other states but pay the in-state rate. Delaware has joined the Academic Common Market, so students can find the right program elsewhere for in-state tuition rates.

    Delaware also pays for all high-school sophomores to take the PSAT and juniors to take the SAT. That prepares them for the test, gives them an idea about their future college success, and saves them the time and money of the otherwise expensive weekend test.

    • Apply to four or more schools — DOE’s Michael Watson said students are “80 percent more likely to get in” college if they apply to multiple schools, producing more options.

    • Apply for scholarships. “Every year, we leave hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the table,” Watson said.

    That’s because some scholarships never even get applicants. Soon, all seniors will take home the annual scholarship magazine, also found online. They can open the book and find everything from local to national scholarships, related to their own interests or their parents’ jobs or affiliations.

    • FAFSA, FAFSA, FAFSA — Most colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine how much financial aid students get. All students/families should submit the FAFSA, and 85 percent will get some financial aid as a result.

    • Go for free — “If you have a 2.5 GPA and stay out of trouble, you can go to school in the state of Delaware for free,” Watson said.

    Kids can get free college through Delaware’s SEED (Student Excellence Equals Degree) Scholarship. With just a 2.5 GPA and no criminal record, high-school graduates can earn free tuition at DelTech. They can take up to three years to complete the two-year program, which can end with an associate’s degree. They can also transfer straight to 15 other colleges, including UD, DSU or Old Dominion University, then paying for only two years of a bachelor’s degree.

    DelTech has more than 120 associates degrees and programs, including nursing, teaching, automotive and computer tech.

    • “Have grit” — Senior year isn’t easy. Writing college applications and scholarships is almost like taking an extra class.

    Markell’s younger son just began college, and the governor admitted that spring was much more pleasant than winter, in terms of college prep and decision-making.

    “There’s lot of money out there,” Markell said, but there’s only so much that parents, teachers and counselors can do. “In the end, your success will only be dependent on the effort you put in.”

    Many students asked questions, such as how Delaware is preparing students for tech jobs that don’t yet exist. (Officials pointed to STEM partnerships in school and business.)

    Markell also emphasized the importance of language, saying the Spanish ambassador recently said that Spain has found 80,000 jobs directly in the U.S. because of translators. Delaware will be increasingly attractive to businesses as more people learn additional languages, officials said.

    “I think, for those of you who are bilingual, you have an incredible leg up,” Markell said.


    0 0

    The Town of Ocean View is working with the State’s benefits office to facilitate the enrollment of the Town’s employees into the State’s group health insurance program.

    “I received a communication from Leighann Hinkle, who is the policy advisor for the State’s Office of Management & Budget,” reported Town Manager Dianne Vogel at the council’s Sept. 9 meeting. “Basically, she shared with me — which we had heard rumor would occur — that the State’s insurance group health plan would be open for those towns who were not already participating effective January 2015.”

    Vogel was instructed to send a letter of intent to the Statewide Benefits office, which she did. Hinkle contacted the Town again, stating the Town can join the State’s healthcare plan beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

    “However, we would have to take a six-month contract term, through June 30, 2015,” explained Vogel.

    The State has six healthcare plans — four with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and two with Aetna, with only two plans having deductibles.

    “Electing to move the Town’s employees to the State’s plan on Jan. 1, … all the deductibles would reset to zero on Jan. 1 and then again on July 1, to get us on their cycle of July 1 to June 30.”

    Vogel requested permission from the council to schedule a meeting with the Statewide Benefits office for later this month, to discuss the plans and set up contribution rates.

    “The Town still maintains ability to determine what the employee is going to pay.”

    The council granted Vogel’s request to set up a meeting in mid-September with the office.

    “Especially thank-you to Bob [Lawless] and Tom [Sheeran] for your prior work with Mayor [Gordon] Wood,” said Mayor Walter Curran, “for getting this jumpstarted. This has been a long time coming.”

    Also during the Sept. 9 meeting, a public hearing was held to amend the Ocean View Land Use & Development Code relating to the hours of alcoholic beverage consumption in restaurants.

    As the Town’s current code reads, alcohol may not be sold or dispensed for consumption on the premises between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 9 a.m.

    The amendment proposes to revise the hours of alcoholic beverage service and consumption in restaurants, to be identical to those set by Delaware state law. Those who are licensed with the Office of the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner to sell alcoholic beverages may do so from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.

    The new code would add 90 minutes each night when alcohol could legally be served and consumed in the town.

    “I don’t think the ordinance is necessary,” said Councilman Bill Olsen. “Most of the people in town — over 50 percent are over age 58, so they didn’t care one way or another… They won’t be using it.”

    Olsen said he also spoke with three different real estate firms to see how a change in the code could affect the town.

    “‘This is the fastest way to change the character of the town,’” recalled Olsen, adding that only one restaurant in town had made the request for the code to be changed.

    Councilman Tom Sheeran said that he believed the restaurateur requested the change in hours was because the business was serving other area restaurant employees who wanted to grab a bite to eat, “and they like to have a beverage with their meal.”

    “Personally, I can’t see a problem concurring with the state laws,” he said.

    Councilman Geoff Christ said that the proposed ordinance was worded such that it would be restrictive enough to prevent patrons from going to the restaurant solely to drink.

    “I don’t think the time is crucial to this, because they have to be seated and dining in order to consume alcoholic beverages. So, if they’re not seated or if they’re not eating, I don’t think it opens this up to a Fat Tuna situation, where you can just sit out on the side and drink without even ordering food,” he said, adding that he would support the change.

    Town Administrative Official Charles McMullen stated that the ordinance had been reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission, which recommended that council adopt the ordinance.

    Also on Sept. 9, the council voted unanimously to deny the request of resident Judith Bundy of Central Avenue for a reduction in a high water bill she received in April.

    Bundy’s bill was $636.27, versus her normal monthly bill of $110. In a report to council, Vogel wrote that, while meeting with Finance Director Lee Brubaker in May regarding the bill, Bundy had stated she was aware of a leak and believed it started when she had a plumber review the property and did not turn the water off when he left.

    According to Vogel, the Town received a written letter from Bundy in May, stating that her water bill was excessive and that she didn’t want to pay it.

    “She’s an absentee owner and, for whatever reason, she has a much higher water bill and she only wants to pay what her normal water bill is. She’s chosen not to take advantage of any other opportunities that we recommended to her.”

    Vogel said Bundy’s water meter had a visual inspection by Tidewater, which found it to not be defective.

    “I think it is tragic that Ms. Bundy has an extraordinarily high water bill. It’s difficult,” said Lawless. “It’s not unique. There have been other circumstances where people have had broken pipes or other circumstances which caused the water to flow through the meter.

    “I am sorry, but I believe she is responsible for it,” he continued. “I think our Town staff was extraordinary in offering at least two alternative solutions— one being that she approach her homeowners insurance company and the other being that she go back to the plumber that she considers the probable cause of the open valve and seek redress from him. Neither was acceptable to her.

    “I don’t have any understanding of why that makes it the Town of Ocean View’s problem. Ms. Bundy has a bill that is due and collectible. I don’t think it’s our Town’s responsibility to pay it for her.”

    Sheeran and Christ agreed with Lawless.

    “The Town is simply a pass-through mechanism,” said Sheeran. “If there is any problem with the water, she should take it up directly with Tidewater.”

    “I find it somewhat egregious that, when offered an opportunity to mitigate it, Ms. Buddy chose not to take either of those routes,” said Curran. “I, too, believe it’s not the Town’s problem; it is Ms. Bundy’s problem.”


older | 1 | .... | 51 | 52 | (Page 53) | 54 | 55 | .... | 197 | newer