Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Just rub your hands in front of this photo and feel the warmth. We’ve been trying it all week in the office.
This Week's News
Would-be Bethany Beach Town Council members will have a chance to make their cases for the job to current council members on March 21 at 1 p.m., when the council convenes a special meeting to hear from those seeking to fill the seat recently vacated by longtime councilman and mayor Tony McClenny, due to health concerns.
On Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m., St. Ann Catholic Church in Bethany Beach will hold an adult panel educating against the death penalty.
Fittingly, oyster shells lay across the parking lot, left by seabirds that dropped them to access the soft meat inside, as dozens of people recently walked across the light rubble to attend DNREC’s second public workshop on developing Delaware’s shellfish aquaculture regulations.
Every great artwork should have a place on the fridge, but more than 100 Selbyville students of all ages also have their work on display for Kids ART Month.
Charging stations for electric vehicles will be strategically placed at key locations in Delaware to enable long trips in the state by next year, through a new collaborative research agreement between the University of Delaware (UD) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
Those who have visited Memorial Pond at the Assawoman Wildlife Area in the last six months have probably noticed a big difference in the pond’s bank. The tiered levels now leading down to the water are part of a bank stabilization project conducted by Troop 281 Eagle Scout Jackson Jorss.
This weekend, the Bethany Beach Christian Church & Conference Center will host a Fil-a-Truck event for Vethel Tabernacle Church’s Helping Hands Food Bank. The event, on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, is designed to help collect food goods for the food bank.
A long, cold, relentless winter has left many of us with chattering teeth and expanding waistlines, as we burrow under our blankets, watch movies and scarf down warm comfort food.
If that describes you, consider yourself fortunate.
There has been a little change in the air.
The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival, presented by Bank of America, is returning in 2014, with four days of events in more than 40 venues stretching from the Main Line of Pennsylvania to the Delaware beaches.
Beebe Medical Foundation, the fundraising arm for Beebe Healthcare, kicked off a year of festivities last week in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Board members of the foundation and of Beebe Healthcare joined Judy Aliquo, president and CEO of the foundation, and Jeffrey M.
Those looking to connect with the movement of their bodies through yoga or dance may find what they’re seeking at Lighthouse Dance & Yoga in Selbyville.
“I want people to feel comfortable,” said 23-year-old Tikiri Shapiro, owner and instructor of Lighthouse Dance & Yoga. “My vision for this place isn’t just to provide classes, but for it to be a social hub.”
Having graduated from George Mason University last spring with a bachelor’s degree in dance, Shapiro moved to Seattle, Wash., where she danced professionally.
“I was there for a couple of months, performing. My family lives here, so that’s how I heard about this space,” she recalled. “My mother called me up and said, ‘It’s open. You should come start a studio here!’ I’ve always wanted to start a studio. That’s been my main goal, so this was a perfect opportunity.”
“I’m working on an amazing movie,” Melanie DeForrest texted to her sister, Maria DeForrest.
“At first, I didn’t make much of it,” said Maria. “Mel is always passionately enthused about her projects.”
But the monthly texts continued, “No, this one’s different,” then “There’s Oscar buzz,” then “It’s gonna to be a game-changer for Matthew (McConaughey)!” And, finally, nearly a year later, it was, “Oh, my goodness — the makeup department got nominated for an Oscar!!”
In response to which Maria posted on Facebook, “A HUGE day for my sister, and I just had to share because I’m so proud of her and how far she has come. Dallas Buyers Club made it to the top three for ‘Best Makeup’ and is an official nominee for the 2014 Oscars!!!”
Indeed, both these two Sussex Central High School graduates have much to be proud of.
Fans of “Downton Abbey” may have bid a temporary farewell to the Crawley family when Season 4 of the Emmy-winning British post-Edwardian period drama wrapped up Feb. 23, but they can now say hello to some pieces of the show closer to home, with the opening March 1 of the exhibit “Costumes of Downton Abbey” at the DuPont family’s Winterthur estate near Wilmington.
The exhibit is unique to Winterthur, having been envisioned and curated by Winterthur’s own staff through an agreement with “Downton Abbey” producers and Cosprop, the London costume warehouse that holds among its collection many of the costumes used on the series. As such, Winterthur’s staff is positioning the exhibit not only as a treat for “Downton” and vintage fashion fans but a tourism draw to the historic home and to the state Delaware as a whole.
Co-curators Jeff Groff, Maggie Lidz and Chris Strand said they were able to make the case for Winterthur’s exhibit through the educational opportunity provided by being able to set the costumes, characters and period plotlines amidst the American equivalent to an English country estate like the fictional Downton or the real-life Highclere Castle, which serves as the show’s set.
Winterthur, they noted, was home to three generations of DuPonts — considerably less longevity than Highclere or Downton but much longer than was the rule in the U.S., where succeeding generations generally tore down the great houses to build their own visions of grandeur.
After a pictorial “who’s who” for the series, the “downstairs” scene that opens the exhibit (featuring 1912 period-authentic costumes for housemaid Anna, footman Thomas and housekeeper Mrs. Hughes) allows visitors to pull a cord to actually ring a bell on a replica of the iconic bell wall from the show.
Nearby, an electronic call panel similar to what would have been found at Winterthur at the time defines what curators described as the comparative eagerness of American estates to embrace new technology.
After getting knocked out of the first round of the DIAA playoffs by St. Georges Tech last season, the Indian River High School softball team will not only look to get back to the playoffs this year but to push the limits even further and challenge for a state championship.
While the Lady Indians will see a variety of key players returning — including senior shortstop Karlie Smith, senior pitcher Rachel Hudson and senior second-baseman Anamaria Impastato — they’ll have a first-year head coach at the helm in Erika Brittingham.
“We have a young team,” Brittingham explained. “We lost three good players, all starters,” she said of the shift from last year’s roster. “We’re really trying to push the expectations, because we feel that we could have made it much further than we did last year.”
She may be stepping in for last year’s head coach, Chris Megee, who has joined the IRHS baseball team as co-head coach, but Brittingham is already familiar with most of the squad, as she was an assistant coach last year. She also has collegiate experience as a player at Salisbury University and plans to utilize that experience to not only better her players for the upcoming season but to help them as they move on to the collegiate level themselves.
“Keep fighting.” That has been the mantra of the Indian River High School basketball team throughout the entire 2013-2014 season. That mantra never changed, and the team has never faltered from it — even after a 12-0 run by opponents Cape Henlopen early in the second-half in the first round of last week’s DIAA playoffs destroyed the balance of a game that, to that point, the Indians had controlled.
Though IR would never recover from the Vikings’ hot streak and would eventually go on to fall to their Henlopen North rival 72-59, they never stopped fighting.
Senior forward Jaevon “B.B.” Holland and senior forward London Tucker set the tone early on both offense and defense in front of a packed house at Cape Henlopen High School last Tuesday, Feb. 26, locking in a rhythm that the No. 14 ranked Vikings could not manage to figure out.
Up 14-10, Holland held his ground in the paint and managed a crucial block at the end of the first quarter, driving down the court and finding Tucker for the easy basket, to make it 16-10. After the “Sportscenter”-worthy play, the signature chant of Indian River’s No. 1 fan, Queen Bratton — “I like that, do it again!” — sounded out, un-matched, over Cape Henlopen bleachers that had fallen silent. The Indians had a 15-year playoff drought to make up for, and their star seniors were leading the way.
Indian River High School senior forward Jaevon “B.B.” Holland has led the Indians basketball team in virtually every statistical category for the past two seasons. However, he’s also been the team’s leader in a category that’s a little more difficult to measure — sportsmanship.
During the many times that the Indians needed a boost during their program re-defining 2013-2014 season, Holland was typically the one to give it to them — whether it was in the form of an emotionally charged speech, beating on his chest and congratulating his teammates after a big play, or just witnessing his non-stop motor and un-matched determination never falter despite the game’s circumstances.
There wasn’t another player on the court that wanted to win more than Holland, and all he has wanted to do for the past two seasons is lead his team to “The Bob” — the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center — to contest a state championship.
While he and the Indians fell just short of that goal — getting knocked out of the DIAA playoffs in the first round against Cape Henlopen last week — Holland’s incomparable drive and standout sportsmanship earned him a spot in the Blue-Gold All-Star game, which, somewhat ironically, will be held at “The Bob.”
While his appearance at the UD facility may not be what he originally had in mind, Holland said he is still honored to represent his school and his team in front of players, coaches and fans from all over the state.
“I’m going to just go out there and play my game,” he stated confidently, “and show everybody what they expect.”
The game will be held on Saturday, March 15, at 4 p.m. and will feature a halftime dunk contest, as well as appearances by Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly and former Delaware Blue-Hen and current WNBA star Elena Delle-Donne. On March 12, all players invited will also get the opportunity to have lunch with Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Gov. Jack Markell.
Indian River High School’s head swimming coach, Colin Crandel, had one goal in mind heading into last weekend’s DIAA state championships: he wanted personal bests for all his qualifying swimmers.
“It’s not about winning. It’s about personally winning,” said Crandel regarding the IRHS seniors that he has been training since the first year he started the Sharks youth program. “They might come out second or third, but if they hit their best time — they just won. I’m just really proud of them.”
Not only did the boys’ swim team accomplish that goal last Saturday, March 1, at the finals held at the University of Delaware, but coach Donna Smith and the girls’ team went above and beyond in achieving some goals of their own.
“These kids have made Indian River history,” Smith said to put the fifth year program’s accomplishments in perspective. “[They’re] the first female squad to make it to the finals round.”
Just months after starting the school’s first-ever dance team, the Del Tech Diamonds were put to the test in front of a lively crowd at the University of Delaware on Friday, Feb. 21, performing the halftime show for the Delaware 87ers — a semi-pro basketball team.
Representing southern Sussex County in the show were 2013 Indian River graduate Adriana Alarcón Sosa and Milford-graduate-turned-Selbyville-local Carina Aguilar, who said they “brought it on” in their first-ever live performance.
“We brought it,” Aguilar recalled enthusiastically. “The audience loved us. I was ecstatic to be a part of Del Tech’s dance team.”
“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience,” added Alarcón Sosa. “After we finished our dance, all my girls felt accomplished and proud of how far we came in such little time.”
In the program’s first year, the team members only had about a month to prepare for the show, overcoming inexperience as a whole, as well as differing levels of experience within the team.
“We made history, pretty much because we have never had a dance team until this semester,” Alarcón Sosa explained. “We practiced for over a month. To come up with a team in such little time — everybody was really impressed.”
Though some of the girls on the squad are just starting out, Alarcón Sosa and Aguilar have both been dancing since they were young.
A number of local students have been named to the University of Delaware’s Dean’s List for the 2013 fall semester.