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    Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The First State Pickleball Club held their second annual ‘Beach Blast Tournament’ at Indian River High School last weekend, with nearly 100 players showing up from five different states to compete.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The First State Pickleball Club held their second annual ‘Beach Blast Tournament’ at Indian River High School last weekend, with nearly 100 players showing up from five different states to compete.Something took hold of Butch Martin while he was traveling in his RV through Arizona — now almost 10 years ago — that would change his life forever. To him, it was something new, something different, and something that he couldn’t help but try for himself.

    And ever since he did, he’s been hooked.

    “I heard the noise, the popping,” Martin recalled of what initially drew his interest to the increasingly popular sport of Pickleball. “So I went over to see what it was and they invited me to play. I’ve been playing ever since.”

    From there, Martin quickly learned the game and the rules: serves must be underhand; play to 11; win by 2 — oh, and don’t go in “the kitchen,” the game’s notorious area designated in front of the net.

    Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court, with paddles that are slightly larger than ping-pong paddles. The ball used is similar to a whiffle ball, but slightly smaller and, combined with a lower net, offers opportunities for players of various skill levels to play in a low-key social setting or with some serious competition in mind.

    After honing his skills, Martin hit the road in his RV, touring the country and playing in tournaments in 46 states during an extensive Pickleball’ing pilgrimage that would last eight years.

    The journey would eventually land him in Delaware, where he’d meet his wife, Cheryl, right there on the Pickleball courts, and the two would start the First State Pickleball Club, which kicked off the summer season with their second annual Beach Blast tournament last weekend with nearly 100 players participating and a lively crowd.

    Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Butch and Cheryl Martin founded The First State Pickleball after seeing just how popular the game was in their frequent travels throughout the country.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Butch and Cheryl Martin founded The First State Pickleball after seeing just how popular the game was in their frequent travels throughout the country.“This is our big yearly tournament,” said Martin, who serves as not only as the club’s president but a USAPA ambassador, as well. “It’s just so fun. People love to watch people having fun.”

    “Some of the people that were coming were coming just to see it for the first time,” added Cheryl Martin of the growing number of both players and fans in the area. “We had several players that just recently started and took our clinic medal today — that was exciting to see.”

    While the sport is growing in Sussex County, it’s already widely popular in states including Florida, California and Arizona — which the Martins have witnessed firsthand as they continue to tour the country in their RV and enter tournaments.

    “It was all over out there,” said Butch Martin of the sport’s popularity on the West Coast. “It’s growing so much that there’s tournaments all around now — you can play Pickleball every weekend, if you want.”

    Having spent the past two years traveling the East Coast, both Butch and Cheryl Martin have seen great success as players, medaling at both the regional and national level. However, to them, the sport is about much more than just converted ping-pong paddles and perforated neon Pickleballs — it’s really about a whole way of life.

    “It’s more social than any other racquet sport,” said Butch Martin. “Everybody’s having fun, they’re laughing, joking, kidding with each other. You don’t do that in tennis or racquetball or anything — it’s so serious. This is just fun.”

    When the Martins are on the road, they’re constantly making new friends after tournaments, but when they’re in Delaware, they’re hanging with the First State Pickleball Club, putting on socials and organizing fundraisers, going to dinners and magic shows, campouts, picnics, community service and even paddleboat mystery tours.

    “That’s what I mean about being more social,” Butch Martin said. “Pickleball is our main thing that draws us together, but it’s like a Pickleball family — we do a lot of different things together.”

    The club even formed a Pickleball flashmob together, when 62 players showed up and started paddling back and forth to the tune of Pat Benatar’s 1980 power-pop single “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” right in the middle of the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.

    However, despite the sport’s booming success in the area, the Martins know that they still have a long way to go. There are funds to be raised, people to introduce to the sport and facilities to find for growing number of players.

    “It’s what they call an explosion,” explained Butch Martin. “Everybody wants to play, but we just don’t have the places for them to play.”

    “It’s a year-round sport,” added Cheryl Martin, “but we don’t have the indoor facilities to support it.”

    The club’s yearly Beach Blast Tournament for 2015 was again held at Indian River High School; however, in a few weeks, they’ll finally have officially designated Pickleball courts at the John M. Clayton School in Frankford, after allocating money from club members and a few local businesses.

    They’re also hoping to raise enough through corporate sponsorships to renovate the abandoned courts at Georgetown Middle School for Pickleball use, and eventually are hoping to locate an indoor facility in the area to do the same for play regardless of the weather.

    “That’ll give the Lewes, Milton and Milford [players] a place to come to without having to drive that far,” explained Cheryl Martin. “Then we can do our big tournament in Georgetown on designated Pickleball courts.”

    The club plans to announce the date of their grand opening for Sussex County’s first-ever designated Pickleball courts in a couple of weeks and encouraged anyone interested in the sport to attend to check it out for themselves.

    And why is it called Pickleball? Well, according to the USAPA, it could be after the dog, Pickles, that chased the first balls when the game was being invented, or it could be from the rowing sport’s “pickle boat,” in which the crew is made up of the leftover members of other crews, much as Pickleball had its origins in the odds and ends of ping-pong and badminton equipment that were on-hand.

    To learn more about Pickleball, The First State Pickleball Club, or to inquire with questions about signing up for clinics or corporate sponsorship opportunities, visit

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    The 10th Annual Baywood Golf Classic tournament will take place on Wednesday, June 3, at the championship golf course of Baywood Greens. The event raises funds for Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center, furthering the mission of providing hope and wellness to its patients.

    Drew Walls, co-chair of the Baywood Classic, said, “We continue to see an increasing demand for services at the Tunnell Cancer Center. It is an honor to lead the event into the 10th year to help those who are going through the difficult journey of cancer.”

    Cindy Szabo, co-chair of the Baywood Classic, said, “We are so grateful for the support the community has given this event for 10 years. It is remarkable to know that we have raised more than $300,000 from local sponsors and players to support various patient and programs at the Tunnell Cancer Center.”

    Baywood Greens Golf Course & Clubhouse is the Classic sponsor again. Individual player fees are $175, and foursomes cost $700. Entry fees include the greens fee, warm-up, contests, golf cart, GPS, breakfast, lunch, on-course refreshments, thank-you gift, door prizes and awards. The tournament begins at 9 a.m., with lunch immediately following.

    The event also will include door prizes and an auction. Contact Pete Briccotto, Beebe Medical Foundation event coordinator at (302) 644-2900, ext. 16, or with any sponsorship or donation inquiries.

    Beebe Medical Foundation was established in 1989 with the sole mission to raise philanthropic support for Beebe Medical Center.

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    The Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade Committee is in the process of planning its 32nd annual event and is seeking volunteers. The event will take place on Saturday, July 4. The 2015 grand marshals will be Phil and Mary Rossi, in recognition of their years of dedicated service to making the parade what it is today.

    Floats and bikes may be entered on the day of the parade, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at two registration desks: for floats, at Route 1 and Central Avenue; and for bikes at the Christian Church grounds. The 2015 theme is “Let Freedom Ring.”

    The official Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade T-shirts will be on sale the day of the parade, as well as during the Seaside Craft Show on Saturday, June 6, and at the bandstand concerts leading up to the event.

    The annual Firecracker 5K Run/3K Walk will be held on Sunday, June 28, at 8 a.m. at the bandstand. Entry forms will be available at the T-shirt sales tables and in Town Hall. For details and online registration, visit

    The parade will begin at noon at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Garfield Parkway and take its traditional 2-mile route through the town. It will feature five marching bands and six entertainment groups on trucks. In order to eliminate gaps in the parade, there will be no performances in front of the viewing stand.

    The horseshoe-throwing contest occurs at 2 p.m. at the southwest corner of the Christian Church grounds, and the award ceremony will take place on the bandstand at 7:15 p.m. New this year, judging will take place before the parade begins. Fireworks will complete the day, at dusk.

    The evening entertainment will be provided by The Vigilantes, a female-fronted dance band that plays popular music spanning from the 1970s through today.

    Since the success of the parade depends heavily on the availability of police, EMTs and bands, there is no rain date, organizers noted.

    For updates, visit the Town’s website at To volunteer, contact Events Director Julie Malewski at (302) 539-8011, ext. 123.

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    Tens of thousands of blacks served on both sides during the Civil War. More than 200,000 African-Americans joined the military as Union soldiers and sailors, and an estimated 120,000 mostly black slaves performed a variety of support functions for the Confederate military.

    In his article “Black Glory,” Jay S. Hoar wrote in the January 1990 issue of Gettysburg magazine that 37,000 blacks lost their lives during the Civil War while serving in Union blue. In addition, the federal government awarded 17 blacks the Congressional Medal of Honor for meritorious service.

    For the most part, white officers commanded the black regiments; nonetheless, some 100 blacks received commissions as officers. Black women also did their part during the Civil War by serving as nurses, as well as spies and scouts for the Union army.

    The South refused to arm blacks but used them to build fortifications and perform camp duties, especially as cooks. Others were brought along by their masters to tend to their needs in camp. Records also show men who served as color-bearers in state militia units.

    At the midpoint of the war, in 1863, state militias of freed black men were offered to the Confederate war office but were refused. On March 13, 1865, legislation was finally passed that would free black slaves if they enlisted in the Confederate Army. Probably less than 50 enlisted because of this legislation and were still in training when the war ended.(See more at:

    Some of Delaware’s African-Americans saw heavy combat, but they had to leave Delaware and join units in other states, since the political atmosphere in this state prevented United States Colored Troops regiments being formed. Existing records have identified 954 Union African-American soldiers and sailors, but estimates range as high as 1,500. These Delaware African-Americans served mostly in the 8th, 22nd, 25th and 32nd USCT regiments that were organized in Philadelphia in 1863 and 1864.

    Estimated casualties among these black soldiers were more than 200. An unknown number of Delaware blacks also served the Confederacy, including David White, who was a member of the crew of the C.S.S. Alabama that preyed on United States’ shipping on the high seas. (See more at:

    According to the Enoch Pratt Library, at least a third of Maryland’s enslaved black men fought for the Union. About 9,000 men from Maryland enlisted in the six USCT regiments organized in Maryland. Many also served in the Union Navy, sharing their knowledge of the waters in the Chesapeake region. Of the African-Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism, five were born in Maryland.

    At least 5,723 black soldiers were mustered into service in Virginia. Five black Virginians were awarded the Medal of Honor. Virginia-born Martin R. Delany was among those who received commissions as officers in the Union army.

    The USCT units raised in Virginia include: 2nd USCT Cavalry; 2nd USCT Artillery, Battery B; 2nd, 10th, 23rd, and 38th USCT Infantry. These regiments served primarily in Virginia and elsewhere in the Eastern Theater. (See http://encyclopedia

    It is interesting to note that a handful of black soldiers from the Delmarva Peninsula were among those who lived the longest. In his article, Jay Hoar lists 64 of the oldest veterans, including Joseph T. Berry, Co. A. 39th USCT, from Milford, who passed away on Dec. 12, 1941, at 96, William Riley Ginn, Co. I, 19th USCT, from Snow Hill, Md., who lived to age 105 and passed away in April 1946; Isaiah Fassett, Co. D. 9th USCT, who was 102 when he died on June 24 1946; and Frank Dennis, Co. I, 10th USCT, from Wardtown, Va., who also survived to 102, his death occurring on July 10, 1946.

    The sculpture “The Spirit of Freedom” by Ed Hamilton, which serves as the African-American Civil War memorial in Washington, D.C., was completed in 1997. Located at the corner of Vermont Avenue and U Street NW, it includes panels with the names of all those who served in the war.

    Bethany Beach resident Thomas J. Ryan’s latest book is “Spies, Scouts & Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign” (June 2015). Contact him at, or visit his website

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    “America?s Got Talent” finalist Cirque Zuma Zuma will be performing at the Freeman Stage at Bayside on May 23 at 7 p.m. Known as the “ultimate African circus,” the show is filled with action and African culture, including dance, acrobatics, tumbling and music.

    The admission for the show is free, but patrons should bring their own chairs. In addition to the public performance on Saturday, 4,500 local school children were set to attend performances of Cirque Zuma Zuma earlier in the week as part of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation’s educational outreach program.

    Cirque Zuma Zuma is described as a high-energy dance act — part Cirque du Soleil, part Harlem Globetrotters. The African troupe of acrobats, dancers, jugglers, street tumblers and contortionists also includes live music and percussionists, with pole and aerial acts, Egyptian limbo dances, South African gumboot dances, Gabonese tumbling and South African contortionist feats.

    “Cirque Zuma Zuma is the perfect offering for our local families and visitors over the Memorial Day weekend,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. “We think that this high-energy arts experience by Cirque Zuma Zuma is an exciting way to kick off our eighth summer season of contemporary and classic performances at the Freeman Stage.”

    Regular weekly performances at the Freeman Stage will commence on June 19, with a performance by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. For more information on this season’s events at the Freeman Stage, call (302) 436-3015 or visit

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    The 11th annual Seaside Craft Show will be held in downtown Bethany Beach on Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Sponsored by the Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee, the juried fine crafts show will feature more than 100 fine crafters along the boardwalk, bandstand area, Garfield Parkway and Parkwood Street.

    Shoppers can purchase jewelry, pottery, home décor, photographs and more. Island Fusion will play Jimmy Buffett songs and traditional island tunes with a real steel drum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no rain date.

    For more information, visit

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    The Friends of the Millsboro Library are gearing up for their annual book sale. The 2015 sale will take place on Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, with a preview night for members on Thursday, July 16.

    “Each year, this sale has been extremely successful because of the thousands of books the public has given us,” organizers noted. “We are currently asking for donations of gently used books. In the past, our community has answered our call for fiction and nonfiction for adults and children.”

    They are accepting hardback and paperback books on any topic; however, they cannot accept textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines and Readers Digest Condensed Books. Donations will be accepted until July 4.

    Donations should be dropped off at the library on State Street during regular library hours. The library is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    More information will be available as the sale date gets closer.

    For information, contact Sandy Stevens at (302) 934-8865 or Jan Thompson at (302) 732-3216.

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    The traditional Sussex County Memorial Day Service will be held on the Circle in Georgetown on Sunday, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. The co-sponsors are the Georgetown Kiwanis Club and the Korean War Veterans Association.

    The keynote speech will be delivered by U.S. Army veteran John G. Mitchell, state commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Master of Ceremonies will be state Sen. Bryan Pettyjohn. Colors will be presented by the Sussex Central High School Army Junior ROTC.

    The invocation and benediction will be offered by the Rev. Christopher Cordrey of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Georgetown. Soloist Cathy Gorman will sing the national anthem and lead attendees in singing “God Bless America.”

    Memorial wreathes will be placed by local veterans’ groups and service organizations in tribute to those who died in World War I and World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts. Assisting will be members of Troop 95 of the Boy Scouts of America.

    The rifle salute will be executed by members of the 198th Signal Batallion, Delaware National Guard, stationed at the Georgetown Armory. “Taps” and its echo will be performed by students at Sussex Technical Vocational High School.

    The program is scheduled to last about 45 minutes. Some seating will be provided on The Circle, but attendees are being encouraged to bring comfortable folding chairs.

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    Delaware State Parks has scheduled events to mark Memorial Day at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park on May 22 and 23.

    Fort Miles was considered a pivotal part of the nation’s coastal defenses during and after World War II. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2004.

    A free artillery demonstration is set for 4 p.m. Friday, May 22, at the Fort Miles Historic Area.

    A free Fort Miles History Hike will take visitors along Pinelands Trail at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 23. A park historian will lead the hike and discuss the history of this area of Cape Henlopen. The walk is for those 10 or older, with children to be accompanied by an adult, limited to 30 people.

    Also May 23, a Discover Battery 519 tour is scheduled for 2 p.m. Visitors will tour the underground bunker, learn about the threat to Delaware at the start of World War II and how the construction of Battery 519 was aimed at defending the coast. The tour costs $5 per person, or free for children 7 or older admitted with a paying adult, limited to 30 people.

    A Lantern Tour of Battery 519 begins at 8 p.m. May 23. Visitors will learn that the reality of World War II was much different than what was expected. They will tour Battery 519 by lantern light and hear about German U-boats patrolling off the coast, sailors in distress and what life was like for soldiers stationed at Fort Miles. The tour is free for those 10 or older admitted with a paying adult, or $5 per person, limited to 30 people.

    All Fort Miles programs will meet at the Orientation Building in the Fort Miles Historic Area. Call (302) 645-6852 to register for programs or for information.

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    It’s time to see what Delaware has come up with to become more resilient to climate change.

    The Governor’s Cabinet Committee on Climate & Resiliency (CCoCAR) has written 159 recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases, minimizing flood risks and increasing resilience to climate impacts (such as changes in temperature, precipitation or sea level).

    Now, the public and state agencies are able to provide feedback on these individual suggestions, found in “The Climate Framework for Delaware.”

    The CCoCAR hosted a Climate Adaptation & Resilience Stakeholder Workshop on April 27 in Dover to discuss recommendations with the public and state agencies.

    In 2013, Gov. Jack Markell signed Executive Order 41, directing state agencies to address both the causes and consequences of climate change.

    Three workgroups coordinated to write the recommendations, which stretch across 11 state agencies, from agriculture and education to public health and homeland security.

    For transportation, that might mean exploring new pavement technology or reevaluating emergency procedures. For natural resources, it could mean monitoring drainage infrastructure or preparing for shifts in wildlife migration as temperatures change.

    For health and social services, expanding the time window for medicine refills, in case of extreme weather events, is one potential change.

    DNREC Secretary David Small called the workshop “Chapter 2 or 3 in a book where we don’t know what the final chapters will look like. But I like to think the book we’re writing is a how-to book so … there won’t be too many surprises.”

    When state planning is frequently only as broad as the annual budget cycle, the framework is designed to help agencies think longer-term.

    Businesses, individuals and municipalities can certainly use the guidelines, too.

    During the April 27 event, people attended different sessions just to address a handful of the most challenging or important of those 159 suggestions.

    In one workshop discussion, state employees and beach-town leaders made a variety of suggestions.

    One attendee suggested the state crack down on building in vulnerable areas, which may be underwater in 100 years, or not pay to bailout developers who build there anyway (with a grandfathering protection clause for existing growth).

    South Bethany’s Jack Whitney spoke about building requirements.

    “We have a tendency to lump new construction with renovation … and the impact is totally different, and it doesn’t seem to be recognized by the state,” Whitney said. “When you start talking about renovations, you’re affecting the little guy.”

    Bethany Beach Town Councilman Lew Killmer pointed out that many inland towns have “barebones” budgets and council members who work full-time. Not every council member is retired with unlimited time, and that can impact how well towns prepare for climate change.

    Newport Mayor Mike Spencer noted the price constraints of new studies and programs: “We’re willing to do anything anyone wants, as long as they give us the money.”

    Bill Lucks said the Delaware Association of Realtors is concerned about property rights and mandatory disclosures, plus “on whose back will [costs be], and what sources of revenue are we considering?”

    Be heard

    Public comments on the Climate Framework will continue until May 30. The questionnaire can be completed online or printed out and mailed to DE Division of Energy and Climate; 1203 College Park Drive, Suite 101; Dover, DE 19904. The office can be reached at (302) 735-3480.

    Learn more online at by clicking on “The Climate Framework for Delaware.”

    “We are gathering public input on the recommendations outlined in the Climate Framework to help us continue to prepare for the impacts of climate change,” Markell has stated. “Our efforts to address climate change not only impact Delawareans today, but will have lasting benefits for our quality of life and the lives of our children and grandchildren.”

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    Bethany’s two homegrown farmers’ markets are set to reopen in June, sharing many of the same growers in a producers-only showcase of local fruits, vegetables and flowers.

    Offering an array of locally grown produce and locally made products will be Bennett Orchards, Chapel’s Country Creamery, Davidson Exotic Mushrooms, East View Farm, Honey Bee Lake Apiary, Hudson Produce, Lavender Fields, Magee Farms, Old World Breads, Parsons Farms, Rainbow Farm, Wells Berry Farm and Wimbrow Farms.

    The market will welcome three new growers this summer, as well: Ficner Farms; Herbs, Spice, Everything Nice; and Fresh Harvest Hydroponics.

    The Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market continues into its ninth year under the direction of new president Doug Mowrey, Market Master Carrie Bennett and a newly restructured Board of Directors.

    Volunteers from the Bethany Beach Women’s Civic Club, under Volunteer Coordinator Margaret Young, will staff the volunteer tent and provide assistance to shoppers. The Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market has also received continuing support and assistance from the Bethany Beach Landowners Association, Mayor Jack Gordon and the Bethany Beach Town Council, as well as the town administration, under Cliff Graviet.

    PNC Bank will host the market in its downtown parking lot, as in previous years. The Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market will be open Sundays from June 14 through Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon at the parking lot at the corner Pennsylvania Avenue and Garfield Parkway.

    The Farmers’ Market at Sea Colony moves into its fifth year with support from Saul Centers Inc. of Bethesda, Md., owners of the Market Place at Sea Colony shopping center, where the market will be located every Wednesday for 10 weeks, from June 24 through Aug. 26, from 8 a.m. to noon. The Sea Colony market will include 10 returning vendors and two new ones: Touch of Italy; and Herbs, Spice, Everything Nice.

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    Coastal Point • Submitted: Fox Theatre representatives show off the new luxury reclining chairs installed at Fox Sun & Surf in Ocean City over the winter.Coastal Point • Submitted: Fox Theatre representatives show off the new luxury reclining chairs installed at Fox Sun & Surf in Ocean City over the winter.Ocean City moviegoers returning to Fox Sun & Surf on 143rd Street this summer will discover that the theater has upgraded its seating to luxury recliners designed for ultimate comfort, with retractable armrests to facilitate cuddling and electronic controls to recline the seat back, which instantaneously raises the foot rest.

    “The goal is to make going out to the movies a more desirable, luxurious experience,” said Don Fox, president of Fox Theatres. “The upgrading of the Fox Sun & Surf with luxury power recliners will offer Delmarva moviegoers a level of comfort and immersion unmatched by any other movie experience.”

    The $1.5 million project began on Feb. 17, starting with a complete interior reconstruction of four auditoriums, which included new walls, ceilings, floors, carpeting, lighting and — most significantly — seating.

    A couple highlights include new ceilings designed to block out noise on rainy days and an angled front row that is far enough back to make it potentially the most desirable part of the theater.

    Fox Sun & Surf remained open during renovations, until the lobby and restroom phase was started on April 13. Moviegoers will now find bright lavender walls and fully refurbished bathrooms, from the sinks to toilets.

    The movie theater reopened the first four of its revamped rooms on April 30, just in time for “Avengers: The Age of Ultron” in 2D and 3D.

    “All renovations are interior, and it will be a surprise for people driving by,” Fox said.

    The power recliners are made out of a leather-like vinyl material, and more than $500,000 was spent on them alone, Fox said.

    “We want to bring people back to the theater and recapture the business that was lost,” Fox said.

    The final four auditoriums were scheduled to open on May 20 for Memorial Day weekend showings of “Tomorrowland” and “Poltergeist.”

    Notably, the plush seating has reduced theater capacity by more than half. The eight auditoriums will have 715 seats total, which is a loss of 915. Each room will have four wheelchair-accessible seats, and the two larger theaters have 118 luxury recliners each.

    The luxury recliners have more than doubled ticket sales in one of Fox’s Reading, Pa., locations, according to Fox. The seat upgrades were tested in two of the theaters, and people kept calling to see what was playing in rooms with the comfy seats, he said.

    A year later, the final six auditoriums were given the same treatment and business skyrocketed, Fox added.

    Feedback has been positive, he said, with customers expressing how they are more engrossed in the movie since their bodies are relaxed and they can better focus on what is going on in front of them.

    “We think it’s a great investment, because more people will come out to the movies on a regular basis,” he added. “If it works, we will upgrade everywhere.”

    To combat the loss in seats during busy summer months, Fox Sun & Surf is introducing advance reserved seating, which allows customers to reserve the exact seats desired so they can avoid waiting in line before show time. Each seat is numbered.

    “We expect to be very busy at the theater, but the added convenience of reserved seating will make going to the movies a more relaxing night out for our customers — not having to worry about getting to the theater extra early on a big night,” Fox said.

    Moviegoers can reserve their seats online on Fox Theatres’ website, at, on a smartphone through the Fox Theatres app or in person at the box office.

    “There is nothing quite like watching a movie on a big screen in a darkened theater with a vivid digital picture and crystal clear multi-channel sound,” Fox said. “It’s like being in the comfort of your own home, with an experience that is private in a public space.”

    Fox Theatres, based out of Wyomissing, Pa., was founded in 1958 and continues to be family-owned and -operated.

    The Sun & Surf Cinema was built as a twin cinema in 1972 by Schwartz Theatres and expanded to four screens in 1976. Fox Theatres acquired the property in 1980 and added four more screens.

    Today, the company operates five theaters with 32 screens in Reading, Pa., Ocean City and Greenbelt, Md.

    For more information or to reserve tickets, visit or call (410) 213-1505.

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    The annual Artisans Fair will return to Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View on Saturday, bringing along with it some of the area’s top artisans, as 49 exhibitors from the local area and beyond will put their work on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., showing off and selling their hand-crafted paintings, sculptures, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and other unique creations.

    With the fair in its eighth year, some of them will be returning as seasoned veterans, and others will be making their first appearance, but when they doors open for the free event on Saturday, they’ll all be ready.

    Suzanne Morrow (Ocean View) — Pottery

    New to this year’s show but not new to the craft will be retired Lord Baltimore Elementary and Indian River High School art teacher Suzanne Morrow, who brings her unique whimsical style of pottery — featuring beach- and ocean-themed vases, mugs, bowls and plates.

    “It’s very different,” Morrow said of her work. “I feel like it has a lot more variety, definitely in color, in what I’m making — I’m still very much experimenting with it.”

    Morrow’s work has been put on display at several other local festivals and shows, but she’s looking forward to her debut at LB on Saturday.

    “I’m very excited,” said Morrow. “There’s a lot of high-quality work in this show.”

    While Morrow’s work will, of course, be up for sale at the show, her main reason for getting into pottery wasn’t monetary.

    “It’s very centering. It’s rewarding,” she explained. “There’s always an element of surprise to it for me still. You’re not 100 percent sure what the final product is gonna look like. I say that this is my own art therapy in retirement.”

    Trudy Fox (Ocean View) — Silver and glass jewelry

    Silver and glass may not be the first materials people think of when it comes to art, but they certainly are to Ocean View’s Trudy Fox, who creates hand-crafted jewelry and pendants, and is returning to the festival for the second year.

    “With the glass, I usually just make pendants and glass bracelets,” said Fox of her work, making sure to note that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of her husband. “This year, I’m gonna do a lot more silver than glass.”

    For the past eight years, Fox has been entering a variety of shows in the area, showing off and selling her silver and glass pendants, earrings and necklaces. But for the show at LB, she’s got something different in mind.

    “Every year I try and do a different theme with my stuff,” she explained. “My things are going to be more organic-looking this year.”

    Pam Browne and Renee Valeski (Dagsboro) — Hand-made decorative wreaths

    On a trip down to the Carolinas, Dagsboro’s Pam Browne noticed something that she didn’t typically see in Delaware — or anywhere else for that matter. Many of the front doors that she was passing displayed elaborate hand-crafted wreaths.

    She decided to try the craft herself last December when she made her return home.

    “I saw a lot in North Carolina and South Carolina, but no one up here was doing anything like it yet,” Browne explained. “We started back in December, making wreathes for gifts, and it kind of snowballed from there.”

    Since she has teamed up with Rene Valeski, their work has become known in the area, as they began to figure out what worked and what didn’t with their custom, deco-mesh wreathes.

    And they aren’t just for Christmas.

    “It’s for everything, for every holiday — summer, spring, fall, patriotic: Fourth of July, Memorial Day — a little bit of everything,” she explained. “We’re seeing what people like. We’ve done sports: Eagles, Ravens, Steelers, Orioles. We have a pretty good selection.”

    This will be the first year that Browne and Valeski appear at the LB Artisans Fair, for which they’ve crafted some appropriately themed wreathes to display.

    “We’re keeping with the beach theme,” said Browne. “We’re doing a lot of patriotic this year, beachy ones, nautical — things like that.”

    Mike and Sue Veasey (Seaford) — Hand-carved waterfowl

    One of the most experienced teams appearing at this year’s festival will be Seaford’s Mike and Sue Veasey, who may only be entering their second year at the show but have been honing their craft professionally for more than 35 years.

    “Last year, we finally had an opening, so we said, ‘Let’s try it,’” Mike Veasey said. “We had a very successful show, so we’re back again this year.”

    After getting his start in the trade while working in his father’s shop in the early 1980s, Veasey and his wife set out on their own in 1995, creating hand-carved and painted hunting decoys, eventually moving into all kinds of waterfowl, seabirds and other animal carvings, all made out of reclaimed wood.

    “It’s completely unique, because each piece of wood has its own unique characteristics,” Veasey explained. “The owls are new this year. We’ll be bringing back one of the real popular items we did last year for the first time: a wall-hanging of a blue whale.”

    The Veaseys will also be adding to the list a collection of shorebirds, which they say have become increasingly popular as of late.

    But no matter what the bird, or whale, or even Santa Claus statue, that they’re carving and painting, they maintain that the main difference is in the material.

    “Every piece we make, no two of them will ever look the same,” Veasey explained. “Each one is hand-carved and hand-painted, and some of the wood we use is 100 to 150 years old. We don’t use any new wood — that adds a uniqueness to each carving. We’ve been doing that our whole carving career.”

    The Veaseys’ work can be seen not only at Saturday’s show, but also on their website at

    Entry to the show is free, and free parking will be available on-site.

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    Coastal Point • Submitted: The Fenwick Island Lions Club worked with the Delaware State Police to renovate the new bathhouses and restrooms at Camp Barnes. This is one of the new ADA compliant showers.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Fenwick Island Lions Club worked with the Delaware State Police to renovate the new bathhouses and restrooms at Camp Barnes. This is one of the new ADA compliant showers.Those who visit Camp Barnes these days may notice a few changes to its facilities. This past spring, the Fenwick Island Lions Club was able to fund a complete renovation of the camp’s two bathhouses.

    “Our club just feels this is such a huge asset to the entire state. Our club feels it deserves our full support,” said Bruce Schoonover, president of the club. “We feel very blessed to have this facility in our back yard.”

    Over the years the club has helped the Delaware State Police camp financially, and this past year was no different.

    “Last summer, I was chatting with [Cpl.] Shawn Hatfield, who manages Camp Barnes for the state police, and asking him in terms of what were his priorities.

    “Without any hesitation, he indicated the bathhouses and restrooms needed major renovations.”

    Schoonover said the Fenwick Island Lions decided they would take on the renovations as a project and went full-speed ahead.

    “We hired an architect and a mechanical engineer to translate the ideas the state police had about the deficiencies,” he said. “That was put into a set of plans and specifications that were sent out to bid last November.”

    In December, the club chose a builder, and on Feb. 2, demolition was begun on the existing facilities.

    “Over the course of the last three months they’ve put it all back together. It has turned out absolutely beautifully. The state police are really excited about having this upgraded facility for their use.”

    The upgrades include ceramic tiles throughout the facilities, as well as new flooring, ceiling, lighting and plumbing.

    “The bathhouse now complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act,” added Schoonover, noting that of the six bathroom stalls and six shower stalls in each of the men’s and women’s bathhouses, one shower and one bathroom stall are now ADA-compliant.

    According to its website, the mission of Camp Barnes is “to provide a free camp for the youth of Delaware, which allows campers to develop initiative and leadership skills necessary to accomplish tasks. The camp also enables campers to increase their self-confidence and feelings of accomplishment from their efforts and achievements.”

    “You can fully appreciate what has been done when you see it. It’s a remarkable transformation to this restroom that probably dates back to the ’50s or ’60s. It was clearly in need of an upgrade,” said Schoonover. “Aside from the six weekly camps that the state police run, the state police turn this camp over to Special Olympics of Delaware for two weeks and Delaware Burn Camp for severely injured children for another week.”

    Schoonover said the club has applied for a $4,000 grant from the Delaware Lions Foundation to help offset the cost of the renovations.

    “They will provide funds for projects that Lions Clubs want to tackle but that are larger than they can handle on their own,” he explained.

    In order for the club to pay for service projects such as the Camp Barnes bathhouse remodel, they hold various fundraisers, such as their pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners.

    The Fenwick Island Lions Club will host their next pancake breakfast on Saturday, June 6, at Harpoon Hanna’s near Fenwick Island, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The cost is $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12. The all-you-can-eat breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs.

    Schoonover said the breakfast is especially fun because the Indian River High School Leo Club will be helping.

    “We feel it’s our responsibility to set an example for the Leos and guide them as much as we can,” said Schoonover. “It’s really interesting, the interaction between the Leos and the Lions. I do think we make a difference. These young people, you show them what needs to be done and they just take off. They love the idea that we treat them like adults.”

    The IRHS Leo Club has approximately 150 members, having been in existence just over a decade.

    “When we first started, it was probably a dozen students, but it has grown in reputation,” said Schoonover.

    He also complimented IR teacher Laura Quillen, who heads up the club.

    “She’s just a dynamite gal, with lots of energy.”

    Along with supporting the Leo Club, the Fenwick Island Lions also give out scholarships to Indian River High School seniors.

    “It’s just an impressive group of young people. It’s always fun for me to interact with them and experience their innocence and excitement for life and that sort of thing.”

    This year, the scholarship committee interviewed nine students, and it will be awarding six scholarships, for a total of $9,000. The students receiving scholarships are Alexandra Long, Sarah Buchler, Alison Jennings, Sea Whelen, Amber Watson and Margaret Allison.

    The club will hold a luncheon in June, to which the scholarship winners are invited.

    “We invite our scholarship winners to that, so it gives them the opportunity to talk to our members about what’s important in their lives. It’s good.”

    Schoonover said that the club has been awarding scholarships since 1992.

    “I think, in that timeframe, we’re up to about $150,000 we’ve awarded in scholarships,” he said. “It’s a fraction of the overall education, but I think it’s important.”

    The club has a substantial list of service projects, which includes eye screenings for more than 500 young children each year. The club has also partnered with the VFW in Ocean View, as well as the American Legion in Millsboro, to do vision screening for veterans and their families.

    Since 1986, the club has been participating in Meals on Wheels.

    “Every day during the week, 52 weeks a year, we deliver meals to elderly homebound seniors,” said Schoonover. “Currently, we are delivering 25 meals a day. If you do the math, that’s over 6,000 meals and good cheer that we bring to seniors in our community That’s something that we’re very proud of.”

    Schoonover said Larry Kovacs is responsible for setting up the schedule of food runs and is responsible for setting up the schedule and recruiting individuals to volunteer.

    “It surprised me, how many things we do within the community in various, various forms.”

    The Fenwick Island Lions Club currently has 68 members, but Schoonover said they are looking to grow that number.

    “That’s why it’s important to us to cultivate this relationship with the Leos,” he said. “Like all Lions Clubs worldwide, we’re looking for new members all the time. Our members are getting older and are less able to do all of these things.”

    Those who join will have the opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way, he said.

    “We’re a fairly small club, but we’ve got a core group that are awfully hard-working and dedicated and of the same mind. We like doing things for others,” said Schoonover. “To me, I always feel like I’m the beneficiary of what we do. I’m very proud of the work that our club does. It’s just a wonderful group of people. A lot of it is very small gestures, but loads of small gestures tend to make a difference.”

    For more information about the Fenwick Island Lions Club and how to become a member, call Muriel Mooney at (302) 436-8216.

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    The Dagsboro Town Council this week announced that the 2015-2016 annual assessment list had been posted at Dagsboro Town Hall and throughout town, giving residents the opportunity to appeal their tax assessments.

    “Now’s the time that people would appeal their taxes,” said Town Manager Stacey Long in Monday’s meeting, which was held a week earlier than usual, due to Memorial Day.

    Staying with Artesian Water for now

    With the Town’s current contract with the Artesian Water Company set to expire on June 30, town council members had expressed some interest in seeking an alternate water source, but ultimately determined that they may not have enough time to do so between now and the end of June.

    “I would personally like to do that, but not between now and June 30,” said Councilman Bill Chandler of the limited time frame.

    With the renewing of the contract comes a $100 on-call service fee, as well.

    “If a pipe bursts, then we’re on our own,” noted Councilwoman Theresa Ulrich of the importance of the service.

    After the assurance from Long of satisfactory service to date, a motion passed to renew the contract for another two years.

    Applying for parks-and-rec grant

    According to town planner Kyle Gulbronson, it’s an off year in terms of available state funding for grants, but the Town still has high hopes for a 50/50 match parks-and-rec grant for improvements to Katie Helm Park.

    “These funds were money that the State received in a settlement years ago,” explained Gulbronson. “It’s going to be a very competitive year — [the available funding] is the lowest I ever recall.”

    Despite the odds, the council agreed that improvements could be made and opted to apply for the grant with the deadline coming up. They had previously tabled the discussion at last month’s meeting. However, what to use the potential money for was up for debate.

    “I think phase three was a bathroom facility,” said Long of the original concept. “That was the initial plan many, many years ago.”

    After discussing whether one or two bathrooms made financial sense, considering costly new water and sewer lines would have to be installed, ultimately, the decision to finish the walking trail was agreed upon.

    “We’d still be looking at 35-40 [thousand dollars], of which 20 [thousand dollars] we’d have to put down,” explained Mayor Norwood Truitt of the cost of installing even just one bathroom facility at the park. “I’d be fine if we’d finish the trail.”

    Estimates for the cost of finishing the trail will be put together before the Town applies for the grant.

    At the May 18 meeting, a public hearing set for Monday, June 10, on a proposed amendment of the rules and procedures regarding civil and criminal ordinances. The next regularly scheduled town council meeting is set for Monday, June 22.

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Four local students are capping the school year with a June trip to Anaheim, Calif. After earning gold and silver medals at the state leadership conference, the Indian River High School students will represent Delaware at the national conference of HOSA: Future Health Professionals.

    Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA lets students learn and become leaders as they approach careers in the health field.

    At state compeition in March, Meghan Paulus won first place for the Pathophysiology event; Taite Daisey won first for the Nutrition event; and Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush took second for the Health Career Display event. Coaches Shelly Robinson and Shirley Townsend led the team.

    Paulus and Daisey demonstrated their expertise on paper at the state competition. Paulus won for pathophysiology, “the study of disease and functions in the body,” she said. That ranged from the stomach to the brain.

    “Taite did nutrition, and it wasn’t just food groups. It was polysaccharides — it went into detail,” Townsend said.

    Paulus said her test was an essay, plus 90 questions.

    “It’s very, very exciting, especially the two that got the gold medals,” she added. “They had to read very large-volume books.”

    To study, Paulus got college-level textbooks, which she plunged into closer to the competition date. But she was building on classroom knowledge.

    “The class really did help a lot throughout my three years,” she said.

    Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush earned silver medals for their presentation in the Health Career Display event. They studied paramedics.

    “Nobody realizes how much they really do,” said Mushrush, who learned that there are even paramedics on bicycle.

    Both of their uncles have worked as a paramedic or EMT.

    “I hadn’t really talked to him about it until we took on the competition,” Mushrush said. “We didn’t know anything about it.”

    Medics work the most dangerous of events, such as the attack on 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing. That means they can also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the girls learned.

    “All the situations are very stressful,” said Blatzheim, who marveled at “how dangerous it is. Usually they would go into cars — let’s say you were trapped. Usually, they would be the ones to help you.”

    Walking into the heavy competition, the girls were nervous among so many impressive displays. But they said they just “clicked” as a team, and they barely needed notecards during the presentation. The judges asked questions and interacted with the team, though the girls had heard the judges barely talked or laughed for other students.

    Health pros judge the students on everything from their smarts to the strict dress code.

    Behind the scenes, Mushrush and Blatzheim had restarted their project several times: a diorama of an accident scene.

    “The board just didn’t go together,” Mushrush said.

    Finally, everything clicked on the last night as they reassembled the project once more.

    “I feel like I work better under pressure,” said Blatzheim.

    Any student may join HOSA, but they can only compete if enrolled in IR’s health occupations pathway. Their reasons for joining run the gamut, from a deep interest in health to a desire for more extra-curricular activities that flourished into a true commitment for HOSA competition.

    Besides the rush of competition, the students liked their HOSA teammates.

    “HOSA’s really, really fun,” Mushrush said.

    “You can actually continue HOSA in college,” Paulus noted.

    “You can?” Blazheim turned to ask.

    The girls thanked their coaches and a team mother, Patty Blazheim.

    “When they called our names up, Mrs. Townsend jumped up like a proud mother,” Mushrush said.

    Paulus said she didn’t get nervous until competition day.

    “Mrs. Robinson really believed in me,” Paulus said. “I wanted to do it. And I did!”

    “I was really scared going into it, because I thought, ‘We’re not gonna win. We’re not gonna go to California,’” said Mushrush. “But look — we’re going!”

    Besides competing, around 7,000 students at the national conference get to explore Anaheim, tour healthcare facilities and attend workshops and seminars.

    To fund the trip, student families paid out of their own pockets, although Townsend said IR also got “some generous donations from local organizations” to help with expenses. Anyone wishing to contribute to the team can send donations to Indian River High School HOSA; 29772 Armory Rd.; Dagsboro, DE 19939.

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    The Indian River School District will begin using a new payment system in all cafeterias, starting June 1.

    Currently, parents can prepay for their children’s meals online with the PayPAMS system. However, that payment system will be deactivated on May 27 and replaced later this summer.

    After May 27, parents wishing to pre-pay for meals for the final 11 school days of the year should send cash or a check to the school. Students can continue paying for meals with their remaining PayPAMS balance, although they cannot add to it electronically.

    “The balances they have will remain,” said Clifton Toomey, supervisor of nutrition services.

    The new online point-of-sale program, Meals Plus, will be fully activated for the 2015-2016 school year.

    Families will get instructions on the new program before school starts in September.

    “We’re going to be sending out the new information over the summer so they can set it up for next year,” Toomey said.

    Although “it’s served its purpose,” Toomey said, IRSD has used the current system for about 14 years, “and it’s time to upgrade.”

    On the last day of school, any money left in student accounts will carry over to September.

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Center for the Inland Bays: This rendering shows some of the plans that organizers hope to accomplish with the James Farm Ecological PreserveSpecial to the Coastal Point • Center for the Inland Bays: This rendering shows some of the plans that organizers hope to accomplish with the James Farm Ecological PreserveChris Bason, executive director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) spoke to the Sussex County Council earlier this month about their master plan for James Farm Ecological Preserve.

    The CIB’s mission is “to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and their watersheds,” in a variety of ways, including restoration, scientific research and educational outreach.

    “A big part of our educational program is the James Farm,” said Bason.

    James Farm covers 150 acres, located on both sides of Cedar Neck Road, just outside of Ocean View. Bason said it’s a unique preserve in that it has a wide variety of ecosystems that are characteristic to the area.

    “It has beautiful upland forests. it has a coastal-plain pond. It has beautiful salt marshes and freshwater wetlands. It has warm-season grasslands, a large tidal flatland on the estuary, and perhaps one of the most beautiful bay beaches of all the inland bays.”

    Mary Lighthipe donated the farm to the people of Sussex County in 1992, to be a place of natural recreation and education. In 1998, the CIB entered into an occupancy agreement with the County to manage the preserve.

    “Mary’s vision, I think, was second-to-none. She knew that this area would rapidly develop. And now the farm is one of the last undeveloped places in this part of the county,” Bason noted.

    In 2003, the CIB partnered with the Indian River School District to use the farm as an educational center for area students.

    “Every year, 1,000 seventh- and eighth-graders have a full day of curriculum-aligned education outdoors at the farm… They learn about water quality, and they learn about how they can, in their own lives, protect their inland bays. For a lot of kids in this area, it’s one of the only times they get to go and see the water, just because their families don’t have the means to get there.”

    Bason said the farm sees more than 10,000 of visitors each year who come there for recreation, to enjoy the bay beach, to walk the trails and bird-watch.

    “Ten thousand visits a year — that’s 40 percent more than Holts Landing State Park has received.”

    Bason said there are challenges when it comes to the preserve.

    “With the population growth of the area, our facilities have outgrown their capacity for the people that are coming. Since we started managing the property, the county’s population has grown by 35 percent, and it’s projected another 35 percent by 2030. So, this growth is projected to continue.”

    Other challenges are the age of the existing facilities, as well as their location in relationship to other aspects of the preserve.

    “Last year, we decided to address this and were very fortunate to receive the support of a number of agencies, including Sussex County Council, University of Delaware, the State of Delaware and the EPA, to contract with OASIS Design — a consultant firm out of Baltimore — to develop a master plan for the farm.”

    Bason said the purpose of the plan is to accommodate the increased visitation, while protecting the environment and enhancing visitors’ experiences, as well as education opportunities at the preserve.

    “The farm is for the public,” said Bason of the importance of getting public input. “We wanted to let the people who use it the most offer their ideas of what the farm should look like.”

    For the most part, said Bason, people wanted the preserve to stay wild, and kept for recreation and nature.

    “The plan covers everything from how to manage all these ecosystems on the site to how to handle the increased growth that the preserve will experience.”

    The details of the master plan include a new gateway that will house a 27-space parking lot and a special spot for school buses to park when student groups visit.

    “We moved our event lawn into the woods so that it would be protected from the winds that blow off the coast oftentimes,” he said.

    Bason said the plan also includes a permanent compostable toilet facility to replace the temporary portable toilet and will have the storage structures for maintenance equipment built to a local agricultural aesthetic.

    “We’ve also been recommended to have some gateway elements on the east side of the road of the farm, to introduce visitors to come and explore the warm-season grasslands and salt marshes. Right now, people don’t go over to the east side too much. We want to show them that and disperse the visitation around.”

    There will also be an educational signage plan, in which 18 signs will be placed throughout the preserve to inform visitors about the different plants, animals and ecosystems.

    The trail system will be redefined, to be “more user-friendly,” in a series of three loops.

    “There’s also provisions made to replace boardwalks damaged by Hurricane Sandy and add new boardwalk to places that have gotten wetter over time.”

    Bason said the master plan will be implemented in three phases. Currently, they are working on construction design and permitting for the entire site.

    “We hope to have that done by the fall and winter of 2016,” he said. “And we’ll go into Phase I construction next year, in 2016. We’re doing our fundraising for that right now.”

    He said the CIB is looking to work with the private community, as well as governmental agencies, to raise the funds needed.

    Bason said the goal for the project is to “maintain the most well-managed preserve in the state of Delaware, where the natural environment is protected and explained through unique educational signage and the programming that we offer.

    “We want this plan to develop the resources in advance of their needs, so we’re not having a rundown preserve but one that we can be proud of at all times for the county.”

    He thanked the council for their continued support of such a special place in Sussex County.

    “I can tell you, as someone who lives in Ocean View, it’s a special place. It is a community at the preserve. It’s place where people can learn about nature and appreciate it. And it’s also a community asset. It’s an economic asset, and it’s an environmental asset.”

    For more information about the master plan, visit To donate to the Center for the Inland Bays or to learn more about the nonprofit, visit James Farm Ecological Preserve is located at 30048 Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

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    Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.

    Bethany Beach parking rate increased

    Bethany’s paid parking is in effect from May 15 through Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the commercial area and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in other metered parking areas, and now costs $2 per hour, with a 50-cent transaction fee added to credit card purchases. (The increased fee will help pay for acquisition by the Town of the previously unpaved lots on Garfield Parkway that have been used for municipal parking for the last few years.)

    Motorists can pay at centralized pay stations, with MasterCard, VISA, Discover (AMEX not accepted) or quarters, then display time receipt on dashboard with expiration time showing. In locations where meters remain, motorists must pay with quarters. Alternatively, motorists can pay by phone with Parkmobile by installing the application on a smartphone or by calling 1-877-727-5758. Parking zone numbers are located on every pay station and single meter, as well as on signs.

    Parking is limited to two hours at a time on Garfield Parkway, but motorists may park more than two hours with a new pay station time receipt or Parkmobile session; all other pay parking spaces are unrestricted.

    Longer-term parking in pay-to-park spaces (not on Garfield or in resident permit areas) can be purchased with a one-day pass for $27, three-day pass for $79 or seven-day pass for $183, which can be purchased at the police department on the east side of town hall at any time.

    Bethany reworks trolley routes, eliminates stops

    The town trolley no longer stops at the Lake Bethany entrance or the South Coastal Library, and the route is now divided into two shorter routes, north and south. A map of the routes is available online at

    Trolleys run from the Friday before Memorial Day through mid-September, continuously between 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (The last pick-up on Atlantic and Garfield is at 9:45 p.m.) The trolley leaves location #1 on the half-hour starting at 9:30 a.m.

    There may be little or no service daily 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (approximate times), due to driver breaks.

    Riders can flag down the trolley anywhere along the route for pick-up or discharge, except on Route 26, Route 1 and Jefferson Bridge Road. The trolley fare is $.25 each way. The driver does not make change.

    • Bethany Beach added e-cigarettes to its ban on smoking on the beach, boardwalk, bandstand and parks in 2014. Smoking of any kind is permitted in those areas only in specified locations.

    • Movies will again be shown on the beach off Garfield Parkway on Monday nights at dusk, starting June 15 with “Happy Feet.” Every Wednesday in July is kids’ night, with activities at town hall and at the bandstand. Bonfires will be held on the beach on Thursdays, starting June 11, at dusk off Campbell Place. Marshmallows and sticks will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Bonfires only will continue in September, with no snacks or sticks provided.

    Fenwick opens new park, renovating existing one

    Fenwick Island’s Cannon Street Park, located on W. Cannon Street next to the Public Works facility, is now open and offers a canoe/kayak launch, picnic area and walkways. The park also offers a pick-up basketball court and public benches, and is accessible via ADA-compliant sidewalk from town hall. A kayak/canoe launch map is available online at

    The park at town hall is also being renovated, with two older toys removed, to be replaced with new equipment. Further renovations to the park are being considered.

    Route 26 shifts to nighttime lane closures only

    To accommodate summer traffic from May 15 to Sept. 30, lane closures for the Route 26 improvements project will now occur only from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday night to Friday morning, with the lane closure period starting two hours later than last summer. Lane shifts may take place when roadwork occurs during weekdays.

    The 2.5-year project will expand a 4-mile stretch of Route 26, from Bethany Beach to Clarksville. Crews will add sidewalks, clearer entrances and exits, center turn lanes, and water and sewer pipes. The official end-date is the late summer of 2016. Drivers are being encouraged to use back roads to avoid lane closures.

    Indian River Inlet area revamped

    Delaware Seashore State Park has entered the modern age with new amenities, including electrical, water and sewer hook-ups for RVs. After years of construction and renovation, the entire park is ready for action at Indian River Inlet. Although divided by an entire inlet, the two halves are connected by an ADA-accessible Route 1 bridge.

    Both sides feature single-day beach parking. The northern campground has 80 new paved RV parking spots, plus bathing and laundry facility. Southside renovations were completed in 2014, with many of the same amenities, including tent camping zones.

    Anglers get their own parking spots near the jetty, and the pedestrian pathway was moved back several feet to give the anglers room to fish. Visitors can use the new playground, bonfire nights, pavilions and a small outdoor amphitheater hosting music and storytelling programs.

    Some of these amenities were lost for years while the new Indian River Inlet Bridge was under construction. Reservations can be made at 1-877-88-PARKS or

    Harris Teeter near Bethany Beach closed

    Harris Teeter grocery store located in Bethany Beach closed permanently on Feb. 24, just shy of its four-year anniversary. Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. said it was leaving the Salt Pond Plaza “only after careful consideration … and strategic market review.” At the time, the market employed 39 associates at that location. The Harris Teeter location off Route 54 in West Fenwick continues to operate.

    Assawoman Canal Trail set to debut

    The Assawoman Canal Trail is slated to open in mid-June, following a delay in construction due to the cold winter. The trail, which is mostly completed, will physically link three municipalities and six communities, running from Route 26 to the Ocean View Marina, with 5,200 feet of trail.

    The trail itself is designed to be 8 feet wide, and is designed to be suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. While the crushed stone trail is mostly completed, the Town Road bridge and restroom have yet to be installed. A ribbon-cutting event is anticipated to be held in July.

    For more information regarding the trail, visit

    James Farm to get added parking, more facilities

    The Center for the Inland Bays is currently fundraising to do major work at James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. The CIB’s Master Plan will be constructed in two to three major phases, to include increasing parking capacity and improved storage facilities, provide a flexible open area for special events, and improve educational areas. For more information about the Master Plan or to donate, visit

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    Three seats on the South Bethany Town Council will be up for election on May 23. Voters have their pick of six candidates: Elizabeth Baker, Don Boteler, Joel Danshes, Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber. None of the incumbents ran for re-election this year.

    Each council term is two years.

    Polls will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Town Hall, 402 Evergreen Road.

    For more voter information, visit the “Election Information” page at

    In preparation for the big day, the Coastal Point has asked a series of questions of the candidates. Their responses are listed alphabetically by the candidate’s last name.

    Elizabeth ‘Betsi’ Baker

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. My training is in business (MBA, University of Delaware) and education (MS, the University of Chicago). I have worked as benefits coordinator for a startup business that grew to 1,400 employees, as well as for several non-profit organizations.

    In recent years, I have been active as a volunteer. For example, at the Armed Forces Service Center at Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport I was a volunteer for seven years, developed the volunteer training program and served on the Board of Directors. In all of these settings I have used my skill in working with people to help forge progress through compromise among competing constituencies, which I believe is a skill that will be very useful as a town council member.

    One advantage I bring with my “newness” to South Bethany’s government is that I come with an open mind and an enthusiastic readiness to learn about the issues and participate wholeheartedly in the community. I have been very involved in local civic affairs in the places we have lived. From the town meetings in Connecticut to the precinct organizations in Minnesota, I have used my voice and my vote to be an active participant trying to affect the quality of life and government in our community.

    Over the past 28 years, South Bethany has become the center of our family life — we come for Christmas and spend (a bit of) New Year’s Day in the ocean! Our three children worked summer jobs here, and two of them got married here. We didn’t just “vacation” here — this is Home.

    In 2014, we “semi-retired” and now live here permanently year-round.

    Q. What do you feel is South Bethany’s biggest challenge for the next two years, and how will you address it?

    A. I believe that the quality of the town’s canals and wetlands, and the threat of the rising oceans is probably the biggest challenge South Bethany will face in the near (and not-so-near) future.

    The canals, the beach and the wetlands are South Bethany’s greatest assets — and as we go forward, it will be vital to continue the good work the council has begun in this area. I will join the Sea Level Rise & Storm Surge Committee and/or the Water Quality Committee. It will be vital to work with state and federal agencies to provide the guidance and leadership the community needs in the near future.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of South Bethany Town Council?

    A. As soon as we knew we were able to make South Bethany our full-time home, I knew I had the time and wanted to become involved in helping keep this delightful and lovely town the unique and special place it has been — for the “part-timers” and the year-round residents.

    We chose to build our home here after a thorough search of communities from Lewes to Fenwick. That search convinced us that South Bethany was, indeed, the “best little beach in Delaware” and we have been very pleased with how it has been managed. I want to be a part of continuing to ensure that South Bethany thrives as it has — so that our children and grandchildren will be able to come and enjoy all that this town has to offer.

    Q. What else would you like to tell voters before election day?

    A. I promise that I will be diligent, spend the time to learn about the issues, and listen to all sides and views. I will be available to meet and talk with members of the community. I will listen more than I talk — so that I can learn from both the more experienced members of the town council and committees, but also from members of the community. I will bring my enthusiasm and all the skills and talents I have to this position — and I ask you for your vote.

    Don Boteler

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. My primary qualification is one I share with all of my fellow South Bethany property owners — a love of our town and a desire to help preserve its character as a safe and beautiful place for our families for generations to come. My family’s roots in South Bethany go back to 1973 and our six grandchildren are the fourth generation of our family to enjoy the privilege of having a stake in this special place. My wife, Ann, and I deepened our commitment to South Bethany when we moved here permanently in 2013.

    I believe all of the other candidates possess superb qualifications based on educational and career backgrounds, and I am honored to be in such strong company. My own work history includes both public- and private-sector experience.

    In my early career, I served in various federal government positions for a period of 13 years, the final four years as a member of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission staff, where I specialized in applying the federal securities laws and regulations to investment advisors and mutual funds. I then spent 26 years with the Washington, D.C.-based national association of the U.S. mutual fund industry, retiring in 2012 as a member of its senior management team. That experience gave me the opportunity to develop the consensus building skills and analytical capabilities essential to advocacy work.

    I currently serve as a trustee (or independent director) on the boards of two separate mutual fund complexes. As a fund trustee, I am obliged under federal and state law to represent the interests of the funds’ public shareholders by ensuring they are fairly treated and protected from conflicts of interest. I see the role of town council member similarly, as I would be entrusted with other peoples’ money and obliged to deploy those and the town’s other resources carefully and thoughtfully and only in ways that clearly further the interests of the town and its property owners.

    My education included degrees in economics and accounting and I am a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Q. What do you feel is South Bethany’s biggest challenge for the next two years and how will you address it?

    A. I am reluctant to identify any one single issue or item on the council’s current agenda as the biggest challenge for the next two years. Water quality, wetlands preservation, beautification, safety and security, flood insurance, community engagement and other current matters are all important in varying degrees to different property owners.

    That said, I believe a perennial challenge of overarching importance for our town is the need to always seek to find a satisfactory balance between the preferences and priorities of property owners who may have different views about where to place emphasis. For example, we have all seen and appreciated the ongoing efforts to improve the visual appeal of South Bethany. Continuing with such initiatives supports pride of ownership and property values and doing so in the most cost-effective manner possible advances an equally important objective of fiscal responsibility.

    My career experience ingrained in me an unalterable belief in the importance of integrity and transparency in building and maintaining credibility. In that spirit, I would work hard to discern and understand the interests of property owners, endeavor to reconcile honest differences with open and respectful debate, and pursue fair outcomes that promote healthy and positive community relations.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of the South Bethany Town Council?

    A. My interest in serving is based on a desire to contribute meaningfully to the life of South Bethany and my fellow property owners. Retirement is happily affording me the time to start paying back my community for the many years of pleasure that my family and I have enjoyed in South Bethany.

    Now that we are fortunate enough to live here full-time, I feel a particularly strong sense of protectiveness toward our town. I also feel a strong sense of gratitude toward all of my fellow property owners, past and present, who have served and are serving, and a desire to honor their contributions with my own.

    I also believe the good people who make their livelihoods working for South Bethany do a terrific job and deserve our thanks and support. I would appreciate the opportunity to help ensure they have what they need to continue to provide the excellent service for which they are rightly known.

    Q. What else would you like to tell voters before election day?

    A. It would be a singular privilege and honor for me to represent you as a member of the town council. Ann and I have made a fair number of new friends around town since moving here permanently, and we constantly remind ourselves how lucky and enriched we are to live among such friendly, interesting and accomplished people. And I feel like we have just scratched the surface! I look forward to getting to know more of you and working with you on things that matter, win or lose, in whatever ways I can. Thanks for your kind consideration.

    Joel ‘Joe’ Danshes

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. I am an extremely honest, trustworthy and a highly motivated candidate for this council. I am ready to put in the time necessary to be a good leader, and become a great team player when the time arises. My expertise in resolving problems and issues are outstanding, and helping to organize actions that work, will be my first priority as a council member. I am totally confident that with my knowledge and expertise as a construction manager, and foremost, my huge love for this wonderful community, makes me the perfect candidate.

    Q. What do you feel is South Bethany’s biggest challenge for the next two years and how will you address it?

    A. For me, the biggest challenge facing this town to date, continues to be the poor water quality conditions that exist in our water ways. One of my goals on this council would be to work closely with the individuals who are and have been searching for a reliable solution for systematically bringing back these truly remarkable attractions. With the right science, I do foresee a significant revival there.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of the South Bethany Town Council?

    A. If honored and chosen to be a member of South Bethany’s town council, my number one priority will be to work closely with my fellow council members in resolving issues, and do everything in my power to focus in on what’s in everyone’s best interests, and continue to help make this already great town, even greater.

    Q. What else would you like to tell voters before election day?

    A. You may not realize how important it is to choose the proper candidates for our town council, and how truly important it is for them to have the effective leadership, good character, and intellect, when challenged with the town’s business at hand. That is why you need my voice there, with my ability to make the right calls and proper decisions. Hopefully, your strong sense of community, and my message, will help me to continue on this path, and that I am one of the candidates that brings you and I closer together. Thank you for your support.

    Wayne Schrader

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. I have a bachelor of science degree from the University of Southern California and a juris doctorate degree from UCLA School of Law. During my undergraduate years, I had the opportunity to play baseball for the greatest college coach in the history of the game — Rod Dedeaux — and to be a member of three NCAA championship teams. I understand the value of and the need for teamwork.

    Aside from the time I drove a truck during college, my work experience is entirely in the legal profession. I was a partner in the D.C. office of a large multinational law firm for over 29 years until I retired in 2012. I then joined a small law firm in Tysons Corner, Va., on a part-time basis.

    I have extensive experience dealing with various government entities, including prosecutors, regulators and legislators at the local, state and federal level. I have worked on flood insurance issues with FEMA and various financial institutions making loans in flood zones. I have also appeared before the Delaware Supreme Court.

    Much of my career has involved negotiating or mediating the resolution or settlement of the disputes in which my clients were embroiled. I believe that this experience can be applied to the work I would perform on the town council. I know how to look at things or issues from all sides and I know how to find common ground.

    Q. What do you feel is South Bethany’s biggest challenge for the next two years, and how will you address it?

    A. Preservation and improvement of the environment will be a significant challenge. This includes the water quality in the canals and wetlands and the overall health of the wetlands and our beach. We will need to develop even stronger relationships with the other government entities [local, state and federal] that have the ability and funding to affect the South Bethany environment.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of South Bethany Town Council?

    A. My wife, Sue Schrader, and I have been married for 41 years. We have five children and one new grandchild. Sue and I built our home in South Bethany in 1997, having rented vacation homes over the previous 10 or more years. We have spent the entire summer in South Bethany every year since 1997; and two of our children have been beach lifeguards on the South Bethany Beach Patrol.

    Sue and I and our family cherish the years we have spent at South Bethany. It is our hope and desire that the beauty, the hospitality, the warmth and the charm of South Bethany will be preserved for our lifetime and the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. The town council will or can play a role in and affect whether the magic of South Bethany will live on.

    Sue and I plan to spend more time at our South Bethany home during the off-season. In light of that, I would like (and am now available) to contribute to the continuance of the excellent government that has well served the people of South Bethany during all of our years spent there.

    Q. What else would you like to tell voters before election day?

    A. I would hope to govern or serve with an awareness of and sensitivity to the need for government to focus on its primary purposes of providing for the safety and security of citizens and the continuation of the prosperity of the people — defined in part as the maintenance of and increase in the value of properties. Beyond this, and as I have already noted, I recognize that the town council must also act to preserve the look or feel and the character of South Bethany that makes it such a special place to live and recreate.

    I look forward to serving the community and will attempt to make myself fully and completely accessible to all citizens in order to receive input, advice and counsel. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

    I would be happy to address any issues or concerns that any of you may have or any questions you might have about my candidacy. My email is and my phone number is (202) 250-4800.

    Carol Stevenson

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. I believe that my experience as a board member and chairman of the Maryland Pharmacists Association has made me uniquely qualified to be a member of the South Bethany Town Council. This position gave me the opportunity to work with a community of volunteers. I assisted in developing budgets, reviewing regulations, hiring personnel and lobbying for the organization on a state and national level. I have also been a volunteer for the South Bethany community on the Community Enhancement Committee and for the South Bethany Property Owners Association. These town experiences have given me insight into needs of the community of South Bethany.

    Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing South Bethany in the next two years, and how do you plan to address it?

    A. I am concerned about keeping our community attractive and safe, while at the same time offering our residents the most efficient use possible of their tax dollars. Therefore, I see the proposed budget process as the biggest challenge facing South Bethany in the next two years. As evidence of this challenge, the State of Delaware recently informed our council that our Town will likely be required to assume a greater share of the cost of maintaining our streets.

    In a climate of decreasing State funding, our council will need to create innovative approaches to achieve solutions that can be supported by our residents. I am inclined to give budget priority to public safety and community enhancement activities, and am disinclined to support tax and fee increases until all alternatives have been investigated and the public has been afforded an opportunity to share their opinions.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of the South Bethany Town Council?

    A. We are indeed fortunate to live at the “Best Little Beach in Delaware.” If we expect to continue to live in such a wonderful community, I would encourage each of our citizens to offer our talents on a volunteer basis towards maintaining and improving our town. Accordingly, I look forward to offering my service on the South Bethany Town Council with the hope of encouraging more of my friends and neighbors to join me in contributing to this terrific little resort destination.

    Q. What else do you want to tell voters before election day?

    I believe there is nothing more important in serving the public as being willing to listen to their views and concerns. I have always been interested in discussing issues related to making our town a better place to live. If I am privileged to be elected to serve on your South Bethany Town Council, you can be assured that you will have a person who is willing to take under consideration your opinions, concerns, complaints and compliments about “the best little beach in Delaware.”

    Frank Weisgerber

    Q. How are you qualified for this position?

    A. I believe in being involved in one’s community. I attend the Town meetings and Property Owners meetings, I closely read local newspapers and magazines so I’m aware of what other coastal towns are doing (good and bad) and how it might apply/impact South Bethany. I’m a member of the Community Enhancement Committee, SB Historical Society, SB Meet & Greet committee, Fourth of July Float committee, News Years Plunge team and Annual Bull Roast committee, which has helped me get a feel for how our Town functions.

    I’m a quick learner with analytical and logical background gained from a mathematical degree enhanced by business experiences. I hope to utilize these skills as a council member always being mindful of the impact of council actions and unintended consequences.

    Q. What do you feel is South Bethany’s biggest challenge for the next two years, and how will you address it?

    A. The Town of South Bethany needs to maintain its strong town finances and continue its efforts for clean water in our canals.

    I believe that South Bethany’s planning and codes needs to continuously work to encourage property enhancements. I will become involved, hopefully, as one of the council members on the appropriate Planning, Code and Clean Water committees so to better understand the challenges and help the efforts.

    Q. Why do you want to be part of South Bethany Town Council?

    A. I love the “small town” feel of South Bethany. The friendly and supportive people in the community are always quick to smile and say hello. As a newcomer to the Town Council, I will work to continue to create that town environment. Now that I’m retired and living full-time here in South Bethany I think it’s time that I give back and join our town council and help wherever I can.

    Q. What else would you like to tell voters before election day?

    A. I take pride in being open-minded and I am always appreciative of input, comments and support. I would consider it an honor, as well as a challenge, to serve South Bethany as a council member.

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