Articles on this Page
- 11/05/14--20:37: _Frankford defers pe...
- 11/05/14--20:38: _Arlett and Cole win...
- 11/13/14--07:54: _Christmas Boutique ...
- 11/13/14--08:08: _Girls Gifts & Good ...
- 11/13/14--08:18: _Statewide shotgun d...
- 11/13/14--08:18: _Ten Mile Miracle fo...
- 11/13/14--11:47: _Night of Song & Sto...
- 11/13/14--11:50: _Veterans invited to...
- 11/13/14--11:52: _Grandell concert to...
- 11/13/14--11:57: _Local students hono...
- 11/13/14--12:01: _Delaware students c...
- 11/13/14--12:27: _Return Day caps 201...
- 11/13/14--12:29: _Selbyville council ...
- 11/13/14--12:32: _Hocker coffee serve...
- 11/13/14--13:03: _Boat sinks at India...
- 11/13/14--13:31: _Millsboro council g...
- 11/13/14--13:32: _Roadside signs must...
- 11/13/14--13:33: _District: Suspected...
- 11/13/14--13:34: _Bethany discusses t...
- 11/20/14--08:45: _Book and bake sale ...
- 11/05/14--20:37: Frankford defers pension vote, moves citizens’ privilege
- 11/05/14--20:38: Arlett and Cole win county seats, Collins tops Atkins
- 11/13/14--07:54: Christmas Boutique &?Book sale to benefit Cape Henlopen
- 11/13/14--08:08: Girls Gifts & Good Tidings event set for Dec. 2 in Millsboro
- 11/13/14--08:18: Statewide shotgun deer hunting season to open Nov. 14
- 11/13/14--08:18: Ten Mile Miracle for ALS set for Nov. 22
- 11/13/14--11:47: Night of Song & Stories set for November 18
- 11/13/14--11:50: Veterans invited to Fort Miles open house
- 11/13/14--11:52: Grandell concert to benefit Mariner’s mission trip
- 11/13/14--11:57: Local students honor veterans
- 11/13/14--12:01: Delaware students can make free, easy college applications this week
- 11/13/14--12:27: Return Day caps 2014 election season
- 11/13/14--12:29: Selbyville council revokes business license
- 11/13/14--12:32: Hocker coffee serves up discussion of oysters and rent hikes
- 11/13/14--13:03: Boat sinks at Indian River Inlet
- 11/13/14--13:31: Millsboro council gets police updates, talks town events
- 11/13/14--13:32: Roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5
- 11/13/14--13:33: District: Suspected school heroin case was isolated incident
- 11/13/14--13:34: Bethany discusses taking over beach concessions
- 11/20/14--08:45: Book and bake sale set for Dec. 13 in Bethany
The Frankford Town Council met earlier this week and agreed to do more homework before voting on whether or not the Town should have an employee pension plan.
The Town has previously heard presentations from resident Marty Presley, who has 30 years of experience in the financial field, and Trena Giddings, a human resource specialist from the State of Delaware’s Office of Pensions.
“I hope you do vote against the pension plan,” said Resident Dean Esham, “especially the buy-in.”
Esham told council he personally spoke to a financial planner about whether or not it would be a good financial move to buy into the State’s plan.
“‘Hell no, that’s a stupid idea,’” Esham said the financial planner stated.
“‘If it’s not good for the individual, it’s definitely not for the town… It’s not a responsible thing to give them, for that reason I hope you say, ‘no.’”
Esham also voiced his concern that Police Chief William Dudley’s house is on the market, and that he may move soon.
“He’s going to cash it out and he’s going to run,” he said. “Frankford is basically giving him a $40,000 check. That’s not responsible... You guys are up here representing the people. You’ve got to do the right thing.”
Council President Joanne Bacon agreed that council would need more time before voting on the pension.
“I want to do what is right for the town,” agreed councilman Charles Shelton. “We’re all going to have to pay for this thing. We all have to do what’s right for us. We need to get this thing out of the way.
“What it’s doing is causing too much confusion, headaches, and animosity for the people of this town... I don’t want to jump up and get something that we can’t afford down the road.”
Councilwoman Pam Davis echoed Shelton.
“I want to do more homework... so that we understand each and every thing. We have a lot more homework to do before we make a decision like that,” she said. “If we do it together, we’ll come up with an answer together.”
Shelton requested that Presley reach out to providers who specialize in defined contribution plans so that the Town may hold a workshop on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Presley said he would contact company representatives to come speak to the council, and requested that the council allow citizens to comment during the workshop.
“This is a decision that will affect the town of Frankford for years on end,” he said.
Property owner Kathy Murray also suggested the town take advantage of forming committees, which were discussed at previous meetings.
At the Nov. 3 meeting, council also voted to move citizens’ privilege from the beginning of the agenda to the end.
Councilwoman Cheryl Workman said the Town felt the having the time set aside at the beginning of the meetings could help them run “more mannerly.”
“I checked with a few of the mayors of the other towns,” she said. “Just about every town has their citizens’ privilege at the beginning.”
Councilman Jesse Truitt said he felt having citizens’ privilege at the end of the meetings would be a disservice to the residents, as they would then be unable to comment prior to any vote taken by council.
“If we don’t understand something you’re proposing, we cannot ask a question about it,” argued resident Jerry Smith. “We need to be able to participate and be able to ask you questions about things... You’re effectively shutting down our participation.”
Truitt said he didn’t want to shut down participation, but rather thought residents could ask questions and be more involved in the discussion prior to council’s vote.
Council voted 3-2 to move citizens’ privilege to the end of future agendas, with Shelton and Workman opposed.
Tuesday night was an interesting one for Delaware politics, as there were a few upsets in the state and county elections this week.
“I applaud all of the candidates who worked hard during the 2014 campaign to offer their vision for our state’s future. It’s never easy to put one’s name on the ballot and be subject to everything that comes with seeking a public office, and everyone who does so plays an important role in our political process,” said Gov. Jack Markell in a statement Tuesday night.
“I congratulate all of the incoming members of the 148th General Assembly, as well as the winners of our statewide races.”
On the local level, Sussex County Council District 5 will now be represented by Republican Rob Arlett, who received 6,849 votes to Democrat and current Sussex County Planning and Zoning Chairman Robert Wheatley’s 4,502. The term is for four years.
“I want to thank my family, the volunteers and supporters,” said Arlett. “I look forward to serving all the residents of District 5. I’m very humbled and very excited about moving forward and bringing a positive attitude and energy to make a positive difference. We’re very, very excited about the opportunity.”
Wheatley was reflective and gracious in defeat.
“I think we were caught up in a Republican wave. I was in pretty good company here,” said Wheatley, noting the loss of incumbents State Sen. Robert Venables, Sr., who chaired the Capital Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. John Atkins, who chaired the House Agriculture Committee.
“We missed an opportunity to put someone on county council that actually knows something about land use,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that happens in politics and elections, that there was just a wave of voter dissatisfaction.
“I’ll carry on and continue my post in Planning and Zoning. l’m looking forward to working with Mr. Arlett and the rest of county council as I have done for the last 20 years.”
Republican Richard Collins will serve as the State Representative for District 41 with 3,189 votes, beating out Democratic incumbent John Atkins, who received 2,919. The term is for two years.
“I want to thank John Atkins for a very clean campaign. I want to say that he certainly had a deserved reputation for constituent service. I have big shoes to fill in that area, and fully intend to get out there... I will try to take care of people as well as he did,” said Collins.
Atkins took to his Facebook page Wednesday morning to thank his constituents for their support throughout the campaign.
“I want to personally thank each and every one of you for supporting me for the past [six] elections. Together, we accomplished a lot,” he wrote.
Atkins also wrote that even though the loss was painful, he wishes Collins the best in serving District 41.
“So let me first start by saying it hurts. I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that.
“We did all that we could... but in the end, we lost... I feel that we have set the standard for one on one constituent service and I congratulate Representative Collins and wish him the best. I really mean that... It has been the high light of my life the past 12 years to call you my constituents.”
Collins said that he hopes to start a dialog regarding government reform when he gets to the State Legislature.
“Particularly in regards to regulations and bringing the power to create regulations back to elected officials, so that the voters can throw us out if we do the wrong thing,” he said, adding that tax reform is something he would like to address, as well.
“Many of the tax increases over the last few years are causing serious harm to the economy and are now resulting in revenue decreases,” said Collins.
Over the next two years, Collins said he hopes to be known as a representative who brings about transparency in government.
“I believe people need to know what goes on in their government, why it happens, and the background deals need to stop. That’s what I’m going to go to Dover to try to accomplish.”
Collins said he celebrated the victory at the Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro with Sussex County Councilman George Cole, another winner Tuesday night, and Arlett, as well as State Rep. Ronald Gray and State Sen. Gerald Hocker.
“It was a great night, a lot of fun, and a lot of excitement watching the returns come in,” he said. Adding, “I want to thank the voters, thank all the campaign workers who came out and worked tirelessly for me. I want to thank my family and I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. I hope to live up to the highest expectations.”
Sussex County Council District 4 will continue to be represented by the Republican incumbent, Cole, who received 8,670 votes, while Democratic challenger Shirley Price received 6,764. The term is for four years.
“I thought it was going to be a close race. Shirley Price was much better organized than I was. I had a lot of people working the polls... I tried to run on my record, which after 28 years you have an extensive record,” Cole said Wednesday morning.
“It was obviously a disappointment,” said Price. “While I was not succesful in winning this seat, I think I was very succesful in bringing to the forefront important issues.”
During his campaign, Cole said he tried to emphasize his judgment while serving as county councilman.
“Over the years I’ve shown good judgment when it comes to fiscal matters and land-use decisions that have been facing the county,” he said. “It’s easy to point the finger with all these problems with infrastructure. I agree we have a lot of problems. There’s an awkward relationship between the State and the County when it comes to infrastructure. We need to work together to solve some of these problems. It’s not easy. If it was, there would be a lot more successes.”
Cole said he looks forward to continuing to work for the people of Sussex County, specifically stating he hopes to target issues through a carrying capacity study, which the County has discussed in recent weeks.
“Hopefully we will target some of the troubled areas — the areas with the most congestion or most infrastructure issues. We’ll do a study to see what is the carrying capacity of those areas and are they maxed out?” he said, adding he believes the idea was well received by the other council members and will be discussed further in January after Arlett joins the dais.
“It’ll also be interesting to have Mr. Arlett at the table to find out what he feels are some of the issues he thought were important and helped get him elected.”
Cole thanked his family and the voters for their support throughout the campaign.
“I appreciate the support of the voters again in the 4th councilmatic district. It’s a pretty big district, it’s a pretty diverse district... There are a lot of small communities with some differences. It all came together and I got the support of most of the area. I appreciate it — I thank them very much.”
Republican Robert T. Lee appears to have secured the position of Sussex County Sheriff, having received 32,506 votes, while Democratic opponent R. Beau Gooch received 20,702. Republican incumbent Jeff Christopher, who lost September’s primary, ran as a write-in candidate, however the votes have yet to be tallied. The term is for four years.
Other unofficial election results include:
• Democratic incumbent Chris Coons has won the U.S. Senate seat with 55.8 percent of the vote. He will serve a six-year term.
• Democratic incumbent John Carney Jr. won the Representative in Congress seat with 59.3 percent of the vote. He will serve a two-year term.
• Current Lieutenant Governor and Democrat Matt Denn won Attorney General with 52.8 percent of the vote. He will serve a four-year term.
• Republican Kenneth Simpler won the State Treasurer seat with 53.6 percent of the vote. He will serve a four-year term.
• Republican incumbent R. Thomas Wagner won the Auditor of Accounts seat with 54.2 percent of the vote. He will serve a four-year term.
• Republican Cynthia Green won Sussex County Council Register of Wills. Green received 36,435 votes, while Democrat Gregory Fuller Sr. received 23,145. She will serve four-year term.
• Republican incumbent Scott Morrow Dailey has won the seat of Sussex County Recorder of Deeds. Dailey received 35,165 votes, while Democratic challenger Alma Roach received 24,123. He will serve a four-year term.
As has been a Sussex County tradition for over a century, elected officials and their challengers were scheduled to meet in Georgetown on Thursday to celebrate Return Day. They are scheduled to take office in early January 2015.
“One of the special parts about governing in our state is the tradition of leaders from across the political spectrum burying the hatchet after hard fought campaigns, no matter the results,” said Markell. “I am excited about what we can accomplish together in the months ahead to continue to create jobs and grow the economy, while strengthening the quality of life in our state now and for generations to come. We have much work to do for the people we represent and I look forward to addressing the issues that are most important to them in the upcoming legislative session.”
The Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park (FOCHSP) will hold their Annual Christmas Boutique & Book Sale on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Officer’s Club in the park.
Event Chair Edna Lemiska said she expects the sale will make the park a weekend destination and that the wide array of merchandise offers something for every taste and pocketbook, as well as homemade goodies, hotdogs, sodas and coffee to sustain visitors for a day at the park. Those attending can also bring their cameras and take a picture of Santa Claus.
The Boutique will feature Christmas crafts, gifts and stocking stuffers made by local craftsmen. Also available will be sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats — both with and without the FOCHSP logo. Handmade local quilts will also be available. Finally, there will be a wide assortment of baked goods available for sale.
The Friends Book Sale will include a selection of both hardcover and paperback books at reasonable prices. Quality donations are sought and may be delivered at the Officer’s Club on Friday, Nov. 14, from l0 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Book Sale Chairperson June Gallagher said donations will be screened to assure that the books on the sale tables are the kinds that people want to purchase. As always, textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines and torn or mildewed books are neither being solicited nor accepted.
Cape Henlopen State Park has a long history of military use before it was designated as a state park 50 years ago. William H. J. Manthorpe Jr., who has spent years researching the role the U.S. Navy has played at Cape Henlopen, will be there in person, selling and signing copies of his recent book, “A Century of Service: The U.S. Navy on Cape Henlopen, Lewes, Delaware: 1898-1996.”
The Friends of Cape Henlopen State park is a non-profit organization comprising volunteers who give their time to promote “one of the crown jewels” of Delaware’s state parks. The group is strongly committed to public education about the resources and believes that education leads to appreciation, conservation, and preservation. For more information about the Friends, call (302) 858-6127; visit the website at www.friendsofcapehenlopen.org; email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual Girls, Gifts & Good Tidings event will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro, with an evening filled with shopping from 25 unique local vendors, wine tasting and a wreath-making class.
During the event, participants can experience vendors selling various items that range from jewelry and clothing to jams/jellies and origami owls, all while enjoying the festive atmosphere of poinsettias, wreaths and more throughout the garden center.
The garden center is located at 30366 Cordrey Road in Millsboro. For more information, call (302) 945-3489 or visit email@example.com.
For thousands of Delaware deer hunters, their favorite and unrivaled time of year afield is fast approaching: With prognostications pointing to a bountiful harvest, the state’s shotgun deer season — which runs from Friday, Nov. 14, though Saturday, Nov. 22, before resuming Jan. 17, 2015 — is squarely in many hunters’ sights this week.
Of all Delaware’s deer seasons, the early shotgun season draws by far the most interest from hunters, state officials noted.
“It’s remarkable that during Delaware’s five-month deer season, nearly 50 percent of the overall annual deer harvest will occur during these eight days in mid-November,” said Deer & Furbearer Biologist Joe Rogerson of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “This year, we anticipate Delaware hunters will harvest more than 13,000 deer, with nearly half of them taken during the November shotgun deer season.”
In order to hunt, Delaware residents 16 to 64 are required to purchase a Delaware hunting license; a Delaware junior license is required for those 13 to 15. Some license requirements differ for non-resident hunters.
Delaware hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Services/Pages/Lic-Perm-Reg.aspx. For more information on Delaware hunting licenses, call (302) 739-9918.
Officials reminded hunters this week that deer must be tagged immediately after harvest, and tags must remain attached until the deer is processed. Delaware hunting licenses come with four antlerless deer tags, but additional antlerless deer tags may be purchased online or from license agents for $10.
Hunter’s Choice tags, which may be used on antlered or antlerless deer, also may be purchased by resident hunters for $10. Hunter’s Choice tags come with a Quality Buck tag, which can only be used on an antlered deer with a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches.
Non-residents may purchase an Antlered Deer Tag and a Quality Buck Tag for $25 each. Hunters are permitted to harvest a maximum of two antlered bucks for all seasons combined. All other deer taken must be antlerless.
Hunters are also being reminded that they must register their deer within 24 hours of harvest. However, if a hunter plans to take their deer to a butcher or taxidermist, they also must register their deer before dropping the animal off, as the registration number will be required before the deer can be accepted.
Hunters who butcher their own deer must likewise register the deer within 24 hours of harvest or before processing, whichever comes first.
Hunters may register deer by visiting the Hunter and Trapper Registration (HTR) system online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt using their smartphone, tablet or computer.
Along with allowing hunters to register a deer, the HTR system allows hunters to obtain the required Harvest Information Program (HIP) numbers for the purpose of hunting migratory birds, obtain a License Exempt Number (LEN) for those hunters and/or trappers who are exempt from having to purchase a license, register for the snow goose conservation order and report snow goose harvests.
Those who prefer to register their deer through a live customer service representative have the option to call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868). However, using the website instead of the live customer service phone number to access the HTR system is a cost-savings measure that helps the Division of Fish & Wildlife direct more funding to on-the-ground habitat conservation and management, and to public hunting areas, officials noted.
As an added incentive for hunters to access the HTR system online, rather than by phone, the Division of Fish & Wildlife will randomly select 20 hunters or trappers throughout the season to receive a donated $50 gift card to Cabela’s. Only hunters and trappers who access the HTR system online will be entered into the drawings.
The first two drawings for gift card winners took place Aug. 25 and Oct. 3, with eight hunters randomly selected to receive a donated $50 gift card to Cabela’s. The third drawing was held Nov. 6, and the following individuals who accessed the HTR system online were selected to receive a donated $50 gift card to Cabela’s: Robert House, Milford; Jacob Perkins, Dagsboro; Roger Satterfield, Frederica; and Kenneth Oprisko, Ocean View.
Successful hunters who harvest a deer and already have enough venison for themselves are being encouraged to donate their deer to the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger Program. All donated deer will be processed free of charge to the hunter, and the meat will be distributed to participating charitable groups.
The Division of Fish & Wildlife maintains walk-in coolers where hunters may donate field-dressed, tagged deer at the following locations in Sussex County: Assawoman Wildlife Area, Frankford; Gumboro Community Center, Millsboro; Redden State Forest Headquarters, Georgetown; and Trap Pond State Park, Laurel.
The coolers are checked periodically, and donated deer are taken to the Sussex Correctional Institution’s deer butchering program, or to participating private butcher shops, where they are processed.
If a hunter donates a deer, the Division of Fish & Wildlife requests that the hunter call the phone number posted on the cooler, so that the deer is transported for processing in a timely manner. Any deer dropped off at a cooler must be field-dressed and registered, with the registration number written on the field tag attached to the animal.
Successful hunters may also take their deer to any of the Sportsmen Against Hunger participating private butcher shops found throughout the state, including Johnson’s Custom Cutting, 21404 Burton Road Milton, DE 19968, (302) 684-1790; Dave’s Cut ’Em Up, 6854 Delmar Road, Delmar, DE 19940, (302) 381-7257; and Mark’s Meats & More, 24910 Hollyville Road
Millsboro, DE 19966, (302) 933-0307.
For more information on hunting in Delaware, see the 2014-2015 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide online at http://www.eregulations.com/delaware/hunting/, and, for those planning to hunt on wildlife areas, state wildlife area maps. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/HuntingMaps.aspx.
Wilgus Associates will host the Ten Mile Miracle for ALS on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Bethany Beach.
The run was established to help raise money for the Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s ALS Clinic, after Wilgus Associates Vice President Tim Hill was diagnosed with the disease. All of the proceeds from the event will go to the clinic.
Notably, as part of the event, Hill will complete a solo 10-mile walk from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will go on until 3 p.m. Hill is scheduled to finish his walk at 2 p.m. at the Wilgus office at the corner of Route 1 and Jefferson Bridge Road. At that time, there will be food, music and open donations held for those who would like to contribute to helping those stricken with the disease.
Those who can’t participate are still being encouraged to donate, either in advance or at the event. Checks can be made payable to Ten Mile Miracle and dropped off at the Wilgus office or mailed to P.O. Box 1262, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.
On Tuesday, Nov. 18, the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild will host another night of “Songs & Stories” at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. The event, which starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until about 8:30, is free and open to the public.
This month’s “Song & Stories” offers five songs to be performed by Stuart Vining and Amy Felker — everything from Peggy Lee’s “Fever” to Johnny Rivers’ “Rockin’ Pneumonia” to “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” by Emmy Lou Harris.
The challenge for the writers who will perform is that they must use either the title of the song or something from the lyrics in the 300-word story, poem or mini-essay that they will write for the event. Each piece of writing (there will be two per song) also has be short — 300 words or fewer. The result can be surprising and fun.
Throughout the event, audience members will be invited to drink and dine at Dogfish. (Audience members are being encouraged to arrive early, as the upstairs room, where the event is held, often fills quickly.)
For more information about the event (or to RSVP to allow the night to run more smoothly), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild, which has been hosting the event for more than eight years, is a nonprofit 501c(3) association dedicated to supporting, encouraging and educating writers of all genres and skill levels throughout Delmarva. For more information about upcoming winter writing classes, Free Writes, or this reading/song series, go to www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com
The Fort Miles Historical Association invites veterans and their families to tour Battery 519 for free and see the newly-arrived 16-inch gun parts from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, between regularly scheduled tours for the public.
“This is our way of honoring the men and women who sacrifice so much for us,” said Dr. Gary D. Wray, association president. “This is one small way to thank them.”
Visitors can see the multi-ton girder, yoke and other parts for the big gun barrel that was on the battleship USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered to Allied forces to end World War II on Sept. 2, 1945. The parts, disused for decades, were transported 250 miles by truck by Lockwood Brothers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, in Virginia, and unloaded at the fort in Cape Henlopen State Park on Oct. 23.
The Missouri barrel arrived at the fort by barge and rail in April 2012 from a naval scrapheap at St. Julien’s Creek Annex of Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia.
Inside the battery, visitors can see a 12-inch gun that was on the USS Wyoming; a plotting table that is a replica of one used by Fort Miles soldiers to triangulate the position of enemy ships; and WWII mines removed from Delaware Bay. During World War II, 2,300 men and women were stationed at Fort Miles, which was built to protect the Delaware coast and Philadelphia industry from enemy surface ships.
The Army scrapped the fort’s guns after the war. Delaware State Parks and FMHA have borrowed guns from the Navy to represent one of each size at Fort Miles during WWII.
The public is invited to tour the battery at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 15 for a cost of $5.
The association, formed in 2003, is restoring the fort to its World War II appearance and wants to build a first-class WWII museum on the site, Wray said, adding that he welcomes veterans to join the association and help further that goal.
“This is a great opportunity for veterans to contribute the skills and experience they gained while serving our country,” he said. “We can always use that know-how and energy.”
For more information, call (302) 645-6852 or visit www.fortmilesha.org.
Some familiar faces are headlining the entertainment this weekend at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church. To raise money for Costa Rica missions trips, Christel and Paul Grandel will perform a free concert Sunday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Ocean View church.
The Grandells frequently lead Mariner’s praise services and write music for special services. Having performed together since 1984, the couple now performs under the band name HIS (Healing in Salvation). They’ll perform songs from their first CD, “Finding Beautiful,” which is also available for sale.
“When we did the concert [in January], we heard people saying, ‘We’d like to get some for Christmas presents,’” Christel Grandell said.
The timing of the event means that people who usually fly south for winter can catch the concert before Christmas. But the main goal is fellowship. Snacks and refreshments will be served afterwards in the social hall. The concert is free. A love offering will be accepted but is not mandatory.
“We just want people to come enjoy the music … and come to know each other better,” said Grandell, especially when worshippers from Mariner’s three services rarely interact together. She said they’re excited to share a stage with more Mariner’s Praise Team members, with special appearances by the youth Drama Team.
“It’s a huge privilege, a humbling experience” to perform, Grandell said. “It is such a neat vantage-point to watch God’s people worship and praise him. Words can’t describe it.”
The concert helps benefit the Mariner’s Bethel Costa Rica fund, as volunteers get set to return for three weeks to Coquital, Costa Rica, to help rebuild a local parsonage. By returning to the same site, Delawareans build a relationship with Costa Ricans and see how the town has grown and changed, Grandell said, and they can work alongside people of all ages, aiming to improve their community.
“It is nice to be able to go back and revisit what progress has been made from other teams,” Grandell said, “and see where the village people are from the last time we got together with them.”
The journey also involves worship at the town’s sanctuary, which Grandell called “fulfilling and uplifting.”
“Then it’s eye-opening, because you see a people who have a lot less material things … and, gosh, they are just a happy people,” Grandell said. “It kind of gives you a new outlook on life to not take things for granted.”
Message in the music
Grandell said she’s learned that, just like a favorite book or scripture, songs affect people in many different ways. The Grandells have heard from a couple who tragically lost their child.
“This came about just about the same time that they got our CD. They listened to the CD all the way on their trip to Florida, where she was living, and back,” Grandell said.
Another woman “had listened to the CD four times, and each time a different song spoke to her,” Grandell said.
“I equate it to scripture. Through my life, I’ve heard or read certain scripture. Then one day I hear it again, or sing it again, and it just hits me again in a different way in my faith walk.”
“Finding Beautiful” CDs can be purchased by attending the concert or calling (302) 542-8363. To purchase a CD, people can simply make an offering in the amount of their choosing. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Costa Rica fund for youth and adult mission trips.
Approximately 140 students at Lighthouse Christian School were able to honor area veterans last week at the school’s annual Veterans Day program. During the program, students sang songs to the veterans in attendance, including “God Bless America” and “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”
Army veteran and VFW Post 7234 Commander Fulton Loppatto spoke to the students about the area’s Operation SEAs the Day program, whose mission is “to organize and facilitate a beach week event for our wounded soldiers and their families as a means of showing our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. It is our hope that such a community-based gesture of support will be comforting and help ease their transition back into civilian life.”
“This is something we can all get involved with,” said Loppatto.
He said that, in the creation of the nonprofit, it was important for the founders, Becky Johns, Diane Pohanka and Richard Katon, to provide a week for the warriors and their families, who are with the veterans through thick and thin.
“They really wanted to highlight how important the family units are,” he said. “The children are really an important part of a solid recovery.”
This past September, in its second year, Operation SEAs the Day brought 30 soldiers and their families to the Bethany area. Loppatto said that throughout the week, the families were greeted by signs made by community members, welcoming them to the area. He requested that Lighthouse Christian Students create signs to help welcome the families to the area.
A large part of Operation SEAs the Day is bringing the community together, said Loppatto, with hundreds of volunteers and more than 100 businesses contributing to the week.
“It’s an opportunity for them to meet each other,” said Loppatto of the event. “To find out they’re not alone, that there are other families like them… It’s a chance for the families to bond together.”
Navy veteran Ed Feeley spoke about American Legion Post 28’s Warrior Weekend Program, which funds free weekend getaways for wounded servicemen recovering at military medical centers and their families. The program was started by retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Udovich in 2007, following a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“The mission is to provide weekends of rest, relaxation and fun for these heroes,” said Feeley. “In recent years, we have been fortunate to rent a beach house over in Rehoboth.”
The Warrior Weekend Program offers seven to nine trips each year, for groups of around eight to 12 veterans and their families. So far, 49 trips have taken place, giving 490 veterans, and their friends and families a nice weekend away from the medical facilities.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to take them and their families outside a hospital environment,” Feeley said, noting that the program is funded strictly through donations. “It’s a very rewarding program.”
During the program, retired Marine 1st Sgt. William Kandravi and Tina Washington of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 28 presented the “white table ceremony,” honoring those lost during conflict.
“We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and imprisonment,” said Washington.
“We call your attention to this small table that occupies a place of dignity and honor. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POWs and MIAs. We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them and to bear witness to their continued absence.”
Fourth-grader Elisha Jones and eighth-grader Alex Lloyd-Wood recited the story of “Taps,” before a moment of silence.
Fifth-grader Izzy Donihue read a tribute to her cousin, a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, who has served two combat tours and a humanitarian tour during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
“I stand here today to honor my brave cousin who fights for my freedom. I stand here today to thank all of you for your service in protecting us,” she said.
During the program, seventh-grader Megan Hayden also read a letter of appreciation.
“Thank you for protecting me when I sleep. Or when I eat dinner or when I pray. You sacrificed yourself for my freedom and protection. You take whatever comes your way and you don’t give up until the job is finished.”
Ayden Ferris, a fifth-grader, read to those in attendance “What the Veterans Have Done for Us.”
“It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the veteran, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech… We will always love and appreciate your service.”
The program was concluded with a “handshake of thanks,” for which those veterans in attendance lined the front of the church and shook hands with every student, who each thanked them for their service.
“I thank you for coming today to allow us, to allow our students, to allow our staff to just say, ‘Thank you,’” said Lighthouse Christian School Director Terri Menoche to attending veterans. “I can’t thank you enough for all you do, for all you have done and all you will do… This is just a small thing we can do to say, ‘Thank you.’”
In the guidance office of Indian River High School, senior Logan Hearn is typing on a computer, dreaming of a future in marine biology. With just a few clicks, he could apply to more than 500 colleges through one single website, no postage stamps needed.
Between free applications and the online Common Application, it’s easier than ever for Delaware students to apply for college. And now is the best time, according to education officials.
During College Application Month, Delaware is waiving college application fees for six colleges, until Friday, Nov. 21. All Delaware students are eligible for the waiver from the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, and students can also apply to Delaware Tech, Wilmington University, Wesley College and Goldey-Beacom College without charge until Nov. 21.
Gov. Jack Markell praised the colleges for making applications more accessible to students.
“Financial concerns too often discourage students from college,” Markell said, “and the State is working to make sure our youth are aware of scholarships, grants and other financial aid opportunities. But students can’t take advantage of those if they never apply, so I’m thrilled that our schools are sending this welcoming message to all Delaware students.”
“For some students, college isn’t considered as an option, because the application process is new and overwhelming,” said Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy. “We are removing that hurdle and providing every student support in the application process, followed later in the year with support in applying for financial aid.”
High schools get involved
For the first time, every Delaware high school will participate in College Application Month, which began in October. Every school will put its money where its mouth is, by offering school time for college applications and scholarships. IRHS is celebrating the special period from Nov. 17 to 21.
“We’re going to bring kids down to the computer labs,” said guidance counselor Paul Kmetz. “We’re going to get in touch with every senior and get something done with them.”
Many students will use the website www.CommonApp.org, utilizing a standardized online application for more than 500 colleges and universities.
Kmetz said he tells students to fill out as much information as possible over the weekend. Then he’ll help them fill in the blanks. Hearn spent about an hour and a half completing forms before working with Kmetz.
And Hearn, like most seniors, has already written an admissions essay in English class.
Counselors and teachers can now also submit recommendations online. (It’s best to get a teacher in the student’s preferred major, or an upper-class teacher, to write a recommendation, Kmetz said.)
“I will go on this site every morning and keep track of my kids and how they’re moving along,” Kmetz said.
“The system can overload, especially at deadline times,” he noted. “That is why you don’t want to wait ’til the deadline on this.”
The Common Application was designed as a time-saver. Students complete the forms with personal information, class rank, test scores and extra-curricular activities. The website highlights any missing information. They submit that information just once for all the schools they want to apply to. Then, each school can ask additional questions.
Although still a fan of paper and pencil, Hearn said the website helps him in particular because he’s “probably the least organized person in the world.”
Likewise, teachers only have to write nominations once, and the students decide where to send them.
“They’re trying to centralize this,” explained Kmetz.
Of course, not all schools use the Common Application, which was created on paper in 1975. Although he found UD, the University of Connecticut and Salisbury University are part of the program, Hearn has to apply separately to Coastal Carolina University and the University of Alaska–Fairbanks.
Kmetz, though, warned against “casting a net” in making college applications, since applying is simple as clicking a button and swiping a credit card, making it easy to go overboard in how many applications a student makes. He’s seen students apply for as many as 10 schools.
He said he encourages seniors to apply to one “dream school,” three “realistic” schools and one “safety school.”
“Get as much information as you can so you can make as good a decision,” Kmetz said, suggesting students research college programs and majors or visit the campuses.
College Application Month originally was funded with grant money but continues now with State funds.
According to the Department of Education, past students have appreciated the program.
“It actually made me excited for college, and without it I would have probably not have done it as thoroughly at home,” one student wrote.
“It really changed my views about college, because before I did this I was not really sure about going to college,” said another.
The next step
To receive a fee waiver when applying to the University of Delaware, students should select “Yes, I participated in the UD Senior Search Program” on the Common Application website.
For Delaware State, they should complete the application at www.desu.edu/apply-now and select “Request a Fee Waiver” on the Submit and Pay screen.
Further documentation is not required during the College Application Month period.
Some schools, including Wilmington University and Delaware Tech, are waiving application fees for students who apply through their schools’ events. Application fee waivers for additional schools also are available for income-qualified students.
With State support, families are also thinking about college earlier, planning ahead for expenses and more. Programs such as those on the websites at Delawaregoestocollege.org and StandByMeDe.org help parents with financial planning, scholarships and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Celebrating a unique Sussex County tradition, candidates from across the state traveled to Georgetown last Thursday to participate in Return Day.
“Delaware sets a shining example — I think the gold standard — for the entire country, after a divisive and hard-fought campaign season,” said Master of Ceremonies and WBOC-TV anchor Steve Hammond. “We come here, literally and figuratively, to bury the hatchet.”
Festivities began last Wednesday night, with concerts on the Circle in Georgetown and the commencement of the traditional roasting of an ox.
On Thursday, Nov. 6, election candidates gathered to ride into the Circle together in carriages and cars. Return Day attendees Included Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Lieutenant Gov. and Attorney General-Elect Matt Denn, former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, U.S. Rep. John Carey, outgoing Attorney General Beau Biden, Delaware National Guard Gen. Francis Vavala and Sussex County District 5 Councilman-Elect Rob Arlett, as well as outgoing Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips, re-elected Councilman George Cole and sitting Councilman Sam Wilson.
Marching bands from Indian River and Sussex Central high schools attended, as did Delaware State University’s band, all playing for the crowds.
“We celebrate the burying of the hatchet with a parade, many different activities and food. We hope you all enjoy it,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “Your visit here today is greatly appreciated. This wouldn’t be successful without you.”
Demonstrating the core of the Return Day tradition, new Town Crier Kirk Lawson appeared at the balcony of Sussex County Superior Court building to read the unofficial election results to those assembled below, while former Town Crier W. Layton Johnson served as the parade grand marshal.
“Thank you for returning to Georgetown to hear the returns,” said Return Day Committee President Rosalie Walls.
And, capping the event, a brief ceremony was also held with Sussex County Chairman of the Republican Party John Rieley, Sussex County Republican Party Chairman John Rieley, Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Crane, Independent Party Chairman Wolfgang Von Baumgart and Libertarian Party Chairman David Eisenhour, in which the four buried a literal hatchet using sand from the beach in Lewes — the first city in the first state.
“With that, I officially declare an end to Campaign 2014,” said Hammond.
Tired of being ignored by a local business owner, the Selbyville Town Council didn’t hesitate to revoke the business license of Andrew Principe, owner of the site maintenance company SMI Services.
Principe did not attend the Nov. 3 council meeting to defend his business practices.
Town Hall has sent cease-and-desist letters to Principe regarding the storage of concrete debris at the business at 20 Railroad Avenue, which is not a permitted use there.
“Recycling concrete in a little town is not what we want,” Councilmember Jay Murray had said in October as the council discussed its next moves.
“The concrete has been hauled in. We have had many communications to cease and desist, issued fines. … There’s been no response,” said Town Administrator Bob Dickerson.
Principe does not own the property. He also has not cleared away the concrete, despite the Town’s demands that he do so, Dickerson said.
“Somebody won’t deal with you, won’t even talk to you. … It’s frustrating,” said Mayor Clifton Murray. “It’s been going on for some time.”
Council members said they still see the concrete being dumped.
Although Dickerson said several certified letters were returned, unclaimed, to Town Hall, he is confident Principe knows the situation is an issue because the dumping continues and Principe visited Town Hall before a recent town council meeting.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a case like this. Nobody ever just ignores you,” Mayor Murray said. “People are typically unaware of the violation, or they’re prepared to amend it.”
The Town of Selbyville may not get the backup it expected from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, since concrete is considered “clean fill,” like soil, rocks, gravel or broken glass. (The concrete must be from a non-industrial source and be free of steel, metal and paint, according to the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances’ website.)
Nonetheless, the non-permitted use has been noted by the Town, and not addressing the issue has cost Principe the business license for SMI Services to operate in Selbyville.
A quick floodplain vote
Selbyville only needed one vote to approve a new floodplain ordinance. FEMA has mandated new standards for towns wishing to gain or continue coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program. That includes new definitions and naming a flood plain administrator (Selbyville’s town administrator).
The requirement doesn’t have the same impact as it does in beach towns, where larger chunks of land fall in the flood plain. Dickerson said Selbyville’s lowest elevation is along Polly Branch, near Food Lion, Mountaire and the Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
Most of the areas are already built, and the ordinance only applies to new construction.
“We reviewed it, did extensive editing of the proposed model to make sure we weren’t going overboard with it,” Dickerson said.
The edits were approved by the Town building inspector, engineering firm and attorney.
Dickerson said Selbyville’s Town Code only requires one vote to approve the change, rather than multiple readings or a public hearing.
By replacing its existing Flood Damage Reduction Ordinance, Selbyville has met the March 2015 deadline from FEMA.
Realtor Steve Morgan has clients building a house on Bixler Road in Selbyville, and he told the council this week that they were stunned when a sewer estimate doubled from $18,000 to $35,000. The original engineering study had estimated the house was about 150 feet from a sewer connection, but that jumped to about 400 feet in a later study.
He asked what they could do.
The council recommended against a grinder pump, because the owner would have to maintain the individual unit that breaks waste down to exit the property through a tiny pipe.
Although it’s more expensive to connect to gravity sewer now, the property owner will have no cost in the long term, they emphasized.
Because another nearby property also wants to hook up to sewer, Council suggested Morgan contact that person for a cost-share project.
“We’ll work out a way to get him sewer and water there,” Dickerson said later.
In other Selbyville Town Council news:
• Gently used coats for all ages can be donated in Selbyville. Town hall will have a collection for Delaware veterans. The police department will collect coats for Selbyville schoolchildren ages 5 to 13.
• Residents should report streetlight outages to town hall or the police. For September, the police had 201 calls, issuing 116 tickets and collecting $5,735 in fines.
• Due to the clarity of the new town well water, hydro-flushing only took about half of the usual two weeks, officials reported.
• The Selbyville Public Library and Selbyville Community Club are partnering to begin a new reading group. This year, the library is also collecting brand new toys for Toys for Tots.
• The council approved purchase of a $120 ad for the Indian River High School Band Boosters.
“Anyone who came to the Halloween parade saw they put on a really good show,” Dickerson said.
The next regular Town Council meeting is Monday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. Planning & Zoning meets Thursday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. to discuss a business on Route 113.
For the first time since he was elected state representative in 2000, state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. enjoyed his first election off. But he was back to work Wednesday morning, with a Nov. 5 “Coffee’s On Me” with constituents.
Regarding the election, he said, “Some long-termers were voted out. I personally think it was a vote against our governor, because most of the people I know … don’t like the direction we’re heading now.”
When responding to concerns of those present, Hocker returned to the same idea: if you have a problem, “make yourself known.” Share your personal concerns, but avoid form letters, he urged.
“I suggest not sending the same exact letter. I don’t know who drafted the letter, but I must have gotten a hundred of the same letter” regarding aquaculture, Hocker said.
“The same exact letter does not have the same weight as [a personal letter] with your own story.”
A rent hike has residents of the Shady Grove II community in Selbyville scrambling. The community provides housing for low-income senior citizens, funded in part by USDA Rural Development.
“They sent us a couple letters stating that our [rent] is going up sky-high. I can’t afford sky-high. Me and my dog would have to hit the street,” said resident Ollie Baker.
Some residents could be charged $300 more per month.
Hocker noted that this is a federally subsidized program, so he can personally contact the federal delegation.
“Not only do I think we’re heading in the wrong direct in the state, the same thing is happening in the federal government. You can’t keep spending more than you got and not expect it to catch up,” Hocker said.
“No one there can afford those kind of increases,” he added. “Federal subsidy rentals are very important in today’s economy. We need to make sure those people are taken care of.”
Resident Liz Bolton said she specifically moved to the area partly because Beebe Healthcare had announced plans to build a small medical facility at Millville By the Sea, plans which fell by the wayside. Now she would fight traffic to reach the nearest hospitals, she told Hocker.
“I can’t have a heart attack between 8 and 5!” she said.
“We had a terrible time trying to get a doctor. My husband tried to call for a [dermatologist]. He is 701 on a waiting list,” Bolton told Hocker. “What are you trying to do to encourage doctors to come down here and provide a maybe small emergency room closer than Beebe hospital or Atlantic General, like they have on Kent Island?”
“That was killed with the Bradley case,” said Hocker, who served on a new facility committee before pediatrician Earl Bradley, who had privileges at Beebe, was convicted for wide-scale child abuse, costing Beebe and its insurers approximately $100 million in reparations to victims.
Although Beebe hasn’t built a new emergency ward, there are many doctors and medical test facilities nearby, though some are not taking new patients or have long waits for appointments.
“It takes an awful large community to support a hospital,” Hocker said, adding that he still has hope.
Meanwhile, he said, some doctors have trouble with national programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
“Doctors have to be able to make money, or you’re not going to be able to see them,” he said. “I think with the nationwide election yesterday, some of that will change … hopefully, it changes for the best.”
When pressed about new action on the issue for the future, Hocker said he would “start putting pressure on Beebe hospital,” but it needs the demand, contributions and community funding.
He encouraged people to contact the local hospitals by calling and asking to get involved.
Ocean View resident Steve Callanen told Hocker he felt “hoodwinked” by the incoming oyster aquaculture industry. He submitted a list of aquaculture-related questions to Hocker, having received what he deemed an inadequate response from Delaware Center for Inland Bays (CIB) and its Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
In part, he questions the advertised high ability of oysters to filter water.
“My feeling is that the idea that oysters are a silver bullet to clean up the Inland Bays is just a sales pitch,” Callanen said.
To improve water flow and create jobs, one gentleman suggested re-carving the Route 1 inlet to make Fenwick an island again.
Dredging would also improve things, Hocker said. When the Assawoman Canal was dredged, he said, he “heard countless people say” the Little Assawoman Bay improved. Others in the audience agreed.
Aquaculture was a popular idea from the beginning, Hocker said.
“I have stood here and said that’s the only piece of legislation that we passed in the last two years that’s gonna create jobs in Delaware,” Hocker said. That legislation strictly created the industry and the percentage of that bays could be used. It had nothing to do with the proposed leases and locations since released by DNREC, which have rattled many residents.
“Rep. [Ron] Gray and I were not happy about the notification” that nearby residents received, Hocker explained, so they hosted their own meeting.
“For members aware of this for the first time — shame on you, because I talked about it here” at his own coffee meetings, he told them.
“Whoever made comment that I originated it — talk to me … because I am doing all I can to change the areas. … I put most of the blame on the director of the Center for Inland Bays.”
When the Army Corps of Engineers opens public comments on the issue, Hocker said, he encourages everyone to send their opinion. He said he’ll do the same.
Hocker discouraged people from trying to revoke the entire aquaculture industry legislation, which the General Assembly created without a dissenting vote, despite the fact that only seven legislators have constituencies that include the inland bays.
“I try not to say this publically, but I’ve got people in my district asking why we’re trying to stop it,” Hocker admitted. “Believe me, the people that are living on Little Assawoman and The Cove doesn’t want the inland residents to start this fight. Don’t start this fight, because they will outnumber you. … There’s not enough in votes in the General Assembly. Just being honest with you.”
For those upset about aquaculture, Hocker said things would be clearer if his own bill had passed, or even gotten out of committee. Introduced in multiple sessions, his bipartisan bill required an economic impact study, notifications to each committee chair regarding whom the regulations impact and more.
“We could not get that bill out of committee for a full vote. Why should the state legislators that you elect not have any say in regulations?” he said. “Why should you not know who that regulation is going to affect and how much it’s going to cost? … You elect us, not state agencies.”
Not a County man
When asked if a new billboard is being erected near the waterway at Harpoon Hanna’s, Hocker recommended people contact the Sussex County administration with their concerns.
“I stay out of County issues. I’m not elected for County issues,” Hocker said. “I was beat up big time when they wanted to put a waterpark next to my property” near Cedar Neck Landing, he added. If he had wanted to sell the land, he could have sold to Toll Brothers a year earlier.
“I wasn’t gonna sell for a water park,” Hocker said, despite rumors that he was a part owner of the water park property.
“If I wanted to get involved in County issues, I woulda stopped the condos that were built around Magnolia’s.”
On Tuesday morning, Nov. 11, rescue efforts were under way to pull a distressed boat from the Atlantic Ocean at the Indian River Inlet.
While returning to the inlet around 7 p.m., a 38-foot recreational fishing boat had gotten stuck on the northeast side of the inlet jetty, out in the ocean.
Two people were onboard, both rescued by the Lewes Fire Department. One was treated for minor injuries, including a broken nose and facial lacerations, officials said.
The vessel sank and was considered a total loss, said Cpl. John McDerby of the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. He reported an incoming tide and calm seas.
To help tow the twin-diesel motor Topaz boat from the surf, J.D. Walsh brought his boat trailer from Anglers Fishing Center in Lewes.
“They’re gonna bring it down here on the beach; they’re gonna get this boat on it; and they’re gonna drag it to the road,” Walsh said during the extraction. “Once it’s on the road, they’re gonna take it to Indian River Marina.”
The exact cause of sinking was still under investigation mid-week.
In case of after-hours emergencies, the Millsboro Police Department is asking businesses to provide additional contact information.
Sometimes when an alarm goes rings, or during other emergencies, MPD doesn’t always know who to call during nights and weekends, Lt. Brian Calloway told the Millsboro Town Council on Nov. 3.
The council this week also approved Patrolman Seth Bullock’s promotion to patrolman first class.
“He’s done a great job for the town. He’s somebody — if I need something, he’s gonna show up. I believe he has met all the requirements,” Calloway said.
Calloway also reported that the police department had received an October letter from the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services in regard to the Ebola virus, stating that there have been one confirmed Ebola case in Delaware. The virus is only spread if a person has direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected individual, health officials reiterated.
After seeing more than 300 children on Halloween, Calloway said there’s talk of expanding Family Night Out to a free trunk-or-treat type of event.
Mayor Robert “Bob” Bryan said he was “really impressed with how well the officers interacted with the kids.”
In other Millsboro news:
• The council formed a committee regarding new FEMA floodplain ordinances, required by all towns wishing to remain in the National Flood Insurance Program. The deadline to approve new ordinances is March of 2015.
• After seeing wet “clumps” of grass clippings on the street and sidewalk, Councilmember Joseph Brady asked about Millsboro writing a grass ordinance. Town Manager Faye Lingo said she would research that.
• Millsboro’s financial audit found that “assets and liabilities were fairly stated in the financial report.”
• The Millsboro Candy Cane Christmas Parade is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. Registration is free for entrants.
• Art in the Park was approved for June of 2015.
• During Fire Prevention Month, the fire company “received countless great posters and essays,” said MVFC President Mike Mitchell. “I wish I could bring some to share with you, but it was really outstanding.”
• The town council approved design of a Plantation Lakes pump station, with the condition that a flow meter is added.
The next Millsboro Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m.
With the 2014 elections now history, all roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5 or those posting them will face fines for each sign, the Delaware Department of Transportation reminded residents this week. According to state law, signs are allowed in some areas of the State-owned right-of-way for 30 days prior and 30 days after an election.
With high winds predicted this week, DelDOT officials encouraged candidates, campaign workers and residents to remove the signs as quickly as possible.
In 2012, approximately 3,800 illegal signs were removed from the State’s rights-of-way. More than 1,000 warnings were issued, along with approximately 1,800 violations, totaling more than $23,000 in fines collected.
The law is designed to keep the enforcement clear zone free from any visual pollution, which contributes to litter and can be a safety hazard, officials said. The law subjects the owner of an illegal sign or other obstruction placed in the state’s right-of-way to a $25 per sign fine and a $15-per-sign recovery fee.
For more information, visit www.deldot.gov.
Suspected of swallowing heroin while at Selbyville Middle School, a 13-year-old student now faces drug charges.
During an after-school dance on Friday, Oct. 31, a male student allegedly went into the boys’ bathroom and ingested suspected heroin, said school district spokesman David Maull.
“He was the only student involved,” Maull emphasized. No needles were involved. The substance was ingested, not injected.
“He started to show some adverse effects from it, so basically the staff over there called 911, and the student was transported to Atlantic General Hospital by ambulance,” Maull said.
He did not overdose, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution only, according to the Selbyville police report. Police said they found a small plastic baggy with suspected heroin in his possession. The student was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, as well as Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance.
“The student has been disciplined under school district policy,” Maull said.
Some district parents have said they are upset that they were not notified about the incident.
“This was an instance of a single student violating our discipline policy,” Maull said. “It’s not standard practice to notify all parents about it. There weren’t any other victims, staff or students or anything like that.”
However, the incident produced “some pretty wild rumors,” Maull noted.
The Selbyville Police Department is handling the investigation.
There was a collective grumble in Bethany Beach Town Hall earlier this week, as many property owners came out to support Steen’s Beach Service, which has been operating in the town since 1957, following the announcement that the Town would be looking into providing beach concessions itself.
The topic was discussed in a crowded town hall, with many attendees wearing Steen’s T-shirts. Former Sussex County Council District 5 candidates Bob Wheatley and Brad Connor were also in attendance.
“This is an idea that I had,” emphasized Town Manager Cliff Graviet. “There’s no one’s name attached to this idea but mine.”
Graviet said the idea to have the Town take over providing beach equipment rental concessions came when brainstorming ways to come up with funding for a Storm Emergency Relief Fund.
He stated that it has been estimated to cost between $6 million and $9 million to replace the Town’s boardwalk, and $20 million to $30 million to replace the Town’s dunes. In order for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide funding following a disaster, Graviet said the Town would have to make a 25 percent match.
“What I’ve been looking for is a source of revenue that the Town might be able to rely on and take and build a fund… that would queue up the necessary resources to be able to make that match or deal with any storm-related issues after the fact.”
In 1986, the Town passed legislation regulating the letting of beach concessions, awarding bids for a five-year term. In 1998, the council agreed to add an addendum to Steen’s contract, stating that, if both parties were satisfied with the mutually beneficial agreement, there would be no need to advertise and bid new contracts.
Graviet stated that, in a 26-year time period, where there should’ve been a bidding process five times, according to the legislation, it had only occurred three times.
Steen’s current contract expires this year, and the Town began advertising for bids on Nov. 7. At the Nov. 10 meeting, Graviet said the Town had only received one bid — from Steen’s Beach Service.
Graviet said that, if the Town were to move to provide the rental concession itself, it would operate daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 22 through Sept. 27, weather permitting.
It would employ 22 seasonal employees to operate nine rental stations during the peak season and scale the number of employees and stations to meet demand in the shoulder seasons, he said.
Parking Supervisor Steve Grames said that, at Graviet’s behest, he had consulted with Sea Colony and the City of North Myrtle Beach about their beach concessions.
He added that Town staff had also used a Google Earth aerial photo taken on July 4, 2010, of Bethany Beach, in which there were approximately 1,750 umbrellas, of which about 51 percent appeared to be rentals. Based on the crowd, they estimated a peak demand of 900 to 1,000 umbrellas.
Grames said the Town would plan to purchase 1,000 umbrellas and 1,200 chairs if it were to provide the concessions.
The equipment would be stored in locked boxes on the beach, which the Town estimated would require 37 boxes. Other expenses would include cell phones and credit card equipment to process credit card payments. The estimated cost to set up beach concessions provided by the Town is $314,200.
Graviet said that, in crunching the numbers, Town staff made conservative estimates of revenue, taking into account weather, the shoulder season and more. Through those estimates, Graviet said, the Town estimates, for the summer of 2015, it would have a gross revenue of $432,120, with a net revenue of approximately $200,000.
“I’m asking the council to consider making a change,” he said. “I’m asking the council to think about if it’s in the Town’s best interest to take these resources that the Town could generate by providing this service and use it to build this fund.”
Council skeptical of need for change
All seven council members agreed that the Town needs to look at a way to bring in money for an emergency relief fund; however, they were hesitant as to whether having the Town take over beach concessions would be the way to go.
“We really have to start thinking about and start doing something for a fund… There is no question about that,” said Councilman Jerry Dorfman. “We are looking outside the box, obviously, but we don’t have to rush to do this.”
“Does the town really want to get into that kind of business?” asked Vice-Mayor Lew Killmer. “I’m not totally convinced.”
Councilman Joe Healy said that such an enterprise would be a nonessential part of government service and that he would be “very reluctant” to have the Town provide beach concessions.
“The service we’ve not heard complaints about, can be and has been provided by private sector,” he said.
Killmer and Mayor Jack Gordon said they were concerned that the Town had only received one bid for beach concessions.
“I, myself, don’t like the idea of going out for a competitive bid and only getting one bid. That tells me we’re doing something wrong,” said Gordon.
“Just because the Town has only gotten one bid does not make that a non-responsive proposal,” said resident Vernon Diebler.
Ellen Johnston, a former Steen’s employee and Bethany resident, told the council there is a legitimate reason for the Town only receiving one bid — from Steen’s.
“It’s because we already have such a good service offered here,” she said. “People aren’t bidding here in Bethany Beach because they know Ron Steen already offers such a high quality level of service.”
Ron Steen, owner of Steen’s Beach Service and a Bethany Beach resident, said it was being portrayed as if there was a cloud over the bidding process, when really there wasn’t — as it was properly advertised in two states.
“I thought my proposal was pretty objective,” he said. “I feel like I’m being penalized for being a good operator out there.”
Steen also said that hearing about the workshop topic of taking over beach concession following his bid submission felt like a “dagger in the heart.”
Resident Bill Ziegler told council that Steen’s has been doing an exemplary job of providing beach concessions to visitors and residents for decades.
“I personally don’t think the Town of Bethany Beach should be in the rental business… That’s a slippery slope,” he said. Ziegler’s comments were received with applause from the audience.
He added he was concerned that the Town didn’t approach other beach concessions in Delaware for research but rather approached a town in South Carolina.
“We have towns within Delaware that we can ask and learn some more about why private enterprise does this instead of the government.”
Ziegler asked, if the Town starts offering beach concessions, what’s to stop them from taking over the boardwalk fries business, as well.
“There are different things the Town does excellently,” he said. “I believe we have a place, but they all involve public health and safety… There’s another place to find the money.”
Resident Len Kidwell added that one benefit to having a private enterprise offer beach concessions to residents and businesses is that they absorb any risk.
“He’s taking that risk,” he said. “Do we need to do this to one of our local small businesses? Think about it hard. It’s risky and may not be the right way to raise revenue. You guys are very creative. I’m sure you can come up with some other ideas.”
Resident Cathy Certner said that her family has been vacationing in Bethany Beach for 30 years, and it was the town’s charm that drew her family to purchase a home there.
“We come to Bethany because there’s something intangible here. It’s a family-oriented place. It’s different than a lot of other places we’ve vacationed. We have cherished the time with our children here. Steen’s has been a part of that,” she said. “It keeps families like mine coming back.”
Certner said that, as homeowners, her family does not own beach chairs or umbrellas because renting from Steen’s is a tradition.
“The kids they hire, for my kids, I use as role models. They’re hardworking, polite, considerate,” she said, agreeing that the Town needs to seek ways to fund an emergency relief fund. “I hope it’s not by putting this business out of service, because I think it is a part of the fabric of Bethany, and I hope you will consider that going forward.”
Johnston asked the council to consider why the Town is able to make such profit projections.
“People come to Bethany Beach and can expect this service because Steen’s has been providing this service for so long,” she said. “We’re essentially taking the clientele that Steen’s has built up through years of marketing and client relations.”
Johnston also said it was important to note how honorable Steen is, and how he has given back to the community over the years.
“Bethany Beach is an idyllic reminder of the American dream. Ron Steen to me is the American dream. He built this business from the ground up. He established his clients; he’s been an honorable and good member of the Bethany Beach community,” she said. “I think we need to reward him for all he’s given back to this community.”
On Friday, Nov. 14, the council will hold its regularly scheduled council meeting at 2 p.m. at which it is scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on the issue.
“Nothing has been decided. This is an idea; something I bring forward… something that in the long run I think will be in the best interest of the Town,” said Graviet.
St. Martha’s Episcopal Church will hold the last of this season’s used-book sales on Saturday, Dec. 13. St. Martha’s bake-sale booth will again be part of the event, this time featuring Christmas cookies. The sale will be held at the church, at Maplewood Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Book sale items include a selection of hard and paperback books, children’s books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games.
A variety of traditional holiday cookies, sold by the pound, highlight the baked goodies.
Those wishing to donate items in good condition for the book sale may leave them in the storage bin on the front porch of the church from Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon.
For more information about the sale, call (302) 539-7444.