This Week's News
Hundreds of volunteers came together this week to make sure needy families on Delmarva will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, packing 10,000 boxes for Mountaire Farms’ 20th annual Thanksgiving for Thousands.
A local group of concerned citizens were reinvigorated earlier this month, with professional advice on how to fight what they see as environmental injustice.
The will of the people has been heard. The South Bethany Town Council voted unanimously Nov. 20 to remove, at this time, the proposed mandatory 2 feet of freeboard from its draft floodplain ordinance.
It seemed an inauspicious birth,
another mouth to feed on earth.
A stable in a crowded town,
the only lodging to be found.
— John McCullagh
Although not quite so packed as its meeting in October, the Indian River School Board still had a larger audience than usual on Nov. 24. Nearly every member of the public present wanted to discuss the proposed health curriculum and, more specifically, Board Member Shaun Fink’s comments in favor of abstinence-only sexual education and the exclusion of homosexuality from the curriculum.
When Ann Tansey awoke from surgery to suddenly find herself blind, she first imagined herself standing at the beach with a guide dog. Nearly 13 years later, she’s retiring the black Lab that gave her independence for 11 years, even in blindness: a loving old dog named Galen.
“He has given me every moment of his life, loyalty and love and protection,” she said. “I would like to give him a royal sendoff.”
Tansey retired Galen on his 13th birthday, Nov. 11, buying him a New York strip steak to celebrate. Fittingly, that was Veterans Day.
“He is my veteran,” Tansey said. “He has saved my life. He has defended me against all danger.”
‘We are a team’
A native of Virginia, Tansey has lived for almost 40 years in Bethany Beach, moving there with her late husband, Joseph Tansey, a former FBI agent, lawyer and founder of Tansey Real Estate. Despite the blindness that eventually challenged her, she was still an independent woman who once ran for public office. Not wanting to burden her sons, she began learning how to live a blind life.
“You can’t just go get a dog,” she noted.
It’s Thanksgiving week, which means many people across these fruited plains are taking a moment to appreciate what they have around them, families are braving the crowds to get to one another for the holiday and the smart turkeys are all hiding out until the mad rush passes.
And, of course, there’s shopping.
We had a tradition around the McCann family table every Thanksgiving.
By Carrie Keane
Arriving home with your new infant should be a happy start to a new life for your family. But it isn’t always a happy time for every mom. After childbirth, some moms can feel sad. The so-called “baby blues” often only last for a week or so, and then the mom can bounce back to a more normal feeling.
After nearly 50 years, Lynn Bullock is still leading and serving the Millsboro Volunteer Fire Company, even if he’s not exactly running into burning buildings anymore. His long-term dedication recently earned him the Fireman of the Year award, presented by the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association (DVFA).
Knowing other members, Bullock joined Millsboro Fire Company 47 years ago. He’s been a volunteer ever since. Back then, one had to be a resident in the town one served, he noted. Bullock didn’t even realize his own father had been a firefighter years earlier, in Federalsburg, Md.
For about 30 years, Bullock was a fire company engineer (driver and pump operator). But now, at 70, “I’m slowing down now,” Bullock said.
Millsboro is doing the opposite. Bullock estimates the fire service has increased from 60 alarms per year to 400 or more. That doesn’t include ambulance calls. The fire hall property has also expanded from one small building to include three new neighboring lots.
In Bullock’s very first fire, he worked on the sidelines until the chief basically grabbed his arm and escorted him into the burning house, proving that experience is the best teacher.
Years later, two of Bullock’s sons joined the fire company.
His memories range from training new firefighters to attending the funerals of old ones.
As you begin to prepare for the upcoming holiday season for your family, don’t forget your pets. I’m not just talking about buying holiday gifts for your pet — but don’t forget that either. I’m talking this time about taking the necessary precautions to avoid holiday disasters where your pets are concerned.
This Thanksgiving, Bethany Beach resident Bob Parsons has a lot to be thankful for. In August, Parsons — a lifelong water lover — was kayaking in the Assateague National Seashore park with a group of seasoned kayakers when, through a series of events, he died and was later miraculously brought back to life.
“We’ve been kayaking together for last decade,” said John Dowling, who was kayaking with Parsons that day. “A group of five of us go down there because the surf is better. … There was a high-surf warning when we drove into the park. When we got there, it didn’t look any worse than normal. The sets of waves were a little more frequent, but they didn’t look any higher or stronger than they normally do.”
The group consisted of Parsons, Dowling, Kathy Hardin, and Buz and Jill Taylor. That day, there was a small hurricane far offshore, which added a little oomph to the waves.
“It was a beautiful sunny day, but it was adding a little more to the waves, which frankly we were tickled with,” said Buz Taylor. “We jumped in and were having a big old time.”
The public is being invited to enjoy premiering paintings and prints, seasonal music, refreshments and holiday cheer at the Ellen Rice Gallery this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 29, when Rice opens her doors for her 20th annual Studio Tour Open House at 10 a.m. each day.
Rice will kick off her open house with the preview-priced print debuts of “scenes whose beauty inspires awe” from Lewes to Fenwick at her Ocean View gallery this Thanksgiving weekend.
“Sometimes people ask me why I paint. It depends on the subject. When it’s nature, I think, more than anything, it’s that I want to share transient moments that are so beautiful they fill me with a sense of vibrant gratitude that’s difficult to explain. This region, my home, is a constant source of awe. When I successfully capture one of these moments in paint, I think people viewing them feel that awe.”
Kicking off her tour, Rice will debut and release prints of “Quiet Evening,” a glowing view of Indian River Bay at sunset; and “The Golden Glow of a Late Summer Day” in Rehoboth Beach; and she’ll preview a painting that revisits a popular scene from her early life on the shores of Lewes, which will be in print Jan. 2.
The crew at the Clear Space Theatre Company of Rehoboth Beach is busy putting the finishing touches on costumes, sets and dances for their holiday musical “She Loves Me.”
Most students at Indian River High School aren’t old enough to join the armed forces. But that doesn’t mean the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) can’t celebrate the ideals and 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
“It’s honoring the Marines and the way they celebrate their founding. Without them, we wouldn’t have this,” said sophomore Kayla Emerson.
The U.S. Marine Corps was founded Nov. 10, 1775. Every year, JROTC cadets stand tall at the annual school dinner celebration, hosted with friends and family, this time on Nov. 13.
Those families are “integral to our success” — fundraising, driving students, cleaning uniforms and much more, said instructor Maj. Frank Ryman (Ret.).
“It’s fun giving them a taste of what we do every day at school and sharing fellowship with them,” Emerson said.
Now dressed in camouflage and taking a leadership class, she joined JROTC because she was impressed by a middle-school recruitment day. But she stayed because of “the support from everybody. And you get really close to Gunny and Major,” she said of instructors Lester “Gunny” James and Ryman.
A local family is seeking help from the community after the sudden and unexpected death of an Ocean View woman last month.
Anna Ella Carroll is a member of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame. She earned this recognition because of her political savvy, service to President Abraham Lincoln and work as a spy during the Civil War.
Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, announced this week the promotion of Ronnie Burkle, a SoDel Concepts employee since 2011, to the position of corporate chef. SoDel Concepts owns and operates eight restaurants along the Delaware coast, as well as Plate Catering and Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, a food and catering truck.
For the second year, the Indian River Band Boosters are raffling off a “Wreath of Wealth,” full of gift cards, to raise money for the upcoming spring band trip.
In December, people often look back on the past year and celebrate those events which are personal and meaningful to each of them, and the same is true of the artists of Gallery One in Ocean View, which is holding its new show, “Celebration,” from Dec. 2 through Jan. 4, 2015.
Fran Hasson, a member of the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild and Eastern Shore Writers Association, has released her second novel, “Mothers and Other Strangers.”
The 2013-2014 Indian River High School boys’ basketball regular season ended on an extremely high note, as they played their best basketball when it counted most, down the stretch, and guaranteed their spot in the 2014 DIAA state tournament. The 2014-2015 Indians will look to repeat that success this season while aiming to bring back a Henlopen South Division title to the school and make a longer run in the 2015 tournament.
The key for this Indians team to maintain and build on the success of the past two years is to remain a tough opponent to defeat by playing a tenacious style of defense — quickly becoming the hallmark of the team — and a selfless style of offense, favoring the hot hand playing the smartest basketball.
The 2013-2014 regular season for the Indian River High School girls’ swim team was one of — if not the most — successful season in the program’s short history. The Lady Indians went 8-3 and had several personal bests in finishing at the individual state meets at the University of Delaware, and they ended the regular season on a six-meet winning streak.
The Indian River High School boys’ swimming program took huge strides last year, both in the conference and the state, only losing team meets to traditional powerhouses Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney. A strong core of record-setting seniors led the Indians into the upper-echelon of Henlopen Conference swimming and knocked on the door of the DIAA record books.
Sports are often remembered in terms of the final score, but the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association wants sportsmanship to be just as important. And Sussex Central High School has portrayed that mentality to win the 2014 DIAA Sportsmanship Award.
“It’s a competition against a set of standards. It’s a very difficult set of standards to meet,” said Kevin Charles, DIAA executive director, “to create a school culture … where doing the right thing is the expectation. It’s what a student naturally does, instinctively does, in a difficult situation.”
It comes down to how students decide to react in difficult situations, on and off the field, he said.
“How are you, as a student, going to respond to that?” Charles asked. “In DIAA, the sports field is the classroom, and coaches are the teachers. We’re teaching life skills through interscholastic athletics.”
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.
This week will mark the 20th time that Mountaire Farms will be feeding those who may otherwise be unable to share a Thanksgiving meal with their families and loved ones.
Once again, the community is rallying to help a local family — this time, a young couple and two children who lost their Millsboro home to a devastating fire this week.
Steen’s Beach Service will continue to provide beach equipment rental concessions to residents and visitors to Bethany Beach for at least the next two years.
At their Nov. 14 meeting, the Bethany Beach Town Council voted unanimously, with Councilman Joe Healy absent, to renew Steen’s current contract for an additional two years.
A car on fire was reported at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Atlantic Avenue about 11:50 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. Delaware State Police assisted the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office in securing the scene that night, and it was suspected that the fire had been intentionally set.
The South Bethany Town Council will be continuing its discussion of requiring 2 feet of mandatory freeboard following a change in some council members’ minds after their Oct. 23 workshop.
Two Dagsboro-area men were arrested last week in connection with multiple burglaries committed in the last month.
Jacob G. Svenson, 33, and Edward J. Nearey Jr., 37, were each charged with five counts of Burglary 3rd, two counts of Possession of Burglary Tools, five counts of Theft, Conspiracy 2nd, Selling Stolen Property and two counts of Criminal Mischief.
The Town of Ocean View will be looking into the cost of contracting with a single trash and recycling company for services town-wide.
“It’s not a new idea,” said Councilman Tom Sheeran, who brought the idea forward to the council. “It has been brought up several times prior.”
As the holidays approach, the Town of Dagsboro is having a new discussion: planning the return of a Christmas parade.
Brian Baull said he has looked forward to adding the parade back since he joined the town council.
“The town lacks when I call ‘signature events’ … that stand out, that people put on their calendar,” Baull said.
An American military force that’s older than the United States, the Marine Corps was immensely proud to celebrate 238th birthday last week, and Indian River High School JROTC cadets stood just as tall as their military counterparts at the annual school dinner celebration on Nov. 7.
Founded in 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps now use the cake-serving ceremony as “a symbol of passing traditions, customs and courtesies from the old corps to the new corps,” said JROTC instructor Maj. Frank Ryman (Ret.).
After cutting the cake with a sword, the oldest cadet passes a slice of cake to the youngest cadet. Therefore, C/Pvt. Annel Calles Vildiva ceremoniously passed more than 200 years of history to C/PVT Jessie O’Neal in front of their classmates, families, guests from AMVETS, American Legion, Indian River School Board and more.
Special guest 1st Sgt. Jonathan Dixon told the story of his first experience driving tanks in a training exercise. Smashing through the wilderness was “the best thing in the world” for the 18-year-old, until he drove the tank into a ditch. That night, he was terrified of the flak he might receive from his comrades.
When the casket with the general’s body arrived in Milford, having traveled through Jacksonville, Fla., New York and Philadelphia, with solemn ceremonies and high-ranking officials in attendance at each location, members of the Philadelphia City Troop carried it through the streets lined with crowds to his home on Walnut Street.
The traditional season of giving thanks kicks off this week, and for those looking to pay their good fortune forward, there is no shortage of opportunities right in our back yard.