Town Manager Cliff Graviet announced on April 17 that the long-planned and long-running Streetscape project in Bethany Beach was officially complete — except for a few “punchlist” items.
The Bethany Beach Town Council voted unanimously this week to extend the closure of the beach block of Hollywood Street by as much as a month, until no later than June 15, to allow for completion of the construction of the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites hotel, which has been delayed by poor weather.
Newly constructed roads and sidewalks need hours, if not days, to set properly. But after that, the painted white lines can dry in just three minutes, noted road workers putting the finishing touches on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project on April 17.
Yet, that high speed also needs high heat.
Ben Villegas used a blowtorch to heat a handcart of melted white thermoplastic to about 400 degrees. That’s much hotter than regular asphalt, and it’s not something one wants to touch.
“You only do it a couple times,” Brett Johns said ruefully. “Then you learn your lesson.”
They had already completed the striping for the parking spaces and were creating “pavement markings,” including the arrows and text for the Garfield Parkway turn lanes.
Although he could draw the arrows free-hand, Mark Johns opted to stencil a quick outline with spray paint, to ensure uniformity on identical arrows so closely placed on the roadway.
The Shore Democrats last week got some inside information as to how the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission conducts business.
P&Z Chairman Bob Wheatley, along with Bethany Beach resident and District 4 Commissioner Rodney Smith, spoke to an assembled group of members, explaining that P&Z is a five-person commission, where no more than two members can come from any one district.
The Planning & Zoning Commission deals with changes of zoning, conditional uses and subdivisions.
“Everything we do is governed by the planning and zoning ordinance,” said Wheatley. “We often have to act on things that we may not like, but our job as planning and zoning commissioners is to measure the application against the ordinance. Whatever the ordinance says goes.”
Wheatley, who has served on the commission for 20 years, said the P&Z makes recommendations to Sussex County Council, though the council is not bound to follow those recommendations.
Mountaire Farms this week moved to withdraw its conditional-use application for a proposed office facility near Millsboro, which had been up for consideration by the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission and the County Council.
Former state senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser, 56, of Georgetown will not be serving jail time after pleading “no contest” in Sussex County Superior Court on March 18 to two counts of third-degree unlawful sexual contact.
Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley sentenced Bodenweiser to one year of supervised probation, and he must register as a Tier I sex offender.
The Sussex County Council received a legislative update from Hal Godwin, deputy county administrator, at this week’s county council meeting.
Godwin spoke to the council about House Bill 85, which would amend Title 30 of the Delaware Code relating to State Taxes — allowing tax intercept programs to be used to collect delinquent taxes.
Emma Rider has collected 100,000 pairs of shoes in five years. But those are just the tips of the laces that tie her tale together.
At 18, Rider has a knack for transforming old kicks into clean water. She explained the basics to the Lord Baltimore Lioness Club on April 16.
“One billion people lack access to safe water,” Rider said.
Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commissioners Bob Wheatley and Rodney Smith met with members of the Shore Democrats organization last week, and Wheatley made a particularly compelling remark during the discussion.
According to a recent story on abcnews.com, a Sacramento woman recently ate three 72-ounce steak dinners in about 20 minutes during a food challenge held at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
Ocean View is a small, quaint town. This is a natural progression of the years and population growth. The fact that it is a nice place to live, and increasingly so in the last three years, is because elected officials have worked hard to ensure that the Town remains fiscally responsible, that we listen to what the residents want but we make our decisions based on what is best for the long-term good of the Town and avoid kneejerk reactions to momentarily hot topics.
About 40 high school juniors filled the Sussex County Council chambers last Thursday, April 16. They were not in chambers to request a grant or make public comment on a proposed ordinance, but rather as representatives of Girls and Boys State.
Boys and Girls State are programs through the American Legion, offering high school juniors the opportunity to become part of the operation of local, county and state government.
“The national organization requires them to be a member of the junior class, becoming seniors in the fall,” explained Lyman Brenner, chairman of Delaware Boys State. “The state of Delaware has added, too, that they must be in the upper third of their class academically.”
Boys State has existed in Delaware since 1946, and those who wish to participate may be recommended from their school, previous Boys and Girls State participants, American Legion posts or military service academy nominees.
After taking over the Dagsboro-area business formerly known as Goodfella’s, Lovetti’s Pizza owner Brian Lovett knew that it might take some time to establish a reputation for his new venture. But he also knew that the best way to do that was simple: good food and good service. And that’s exactly what he set out to do.
“I take a lot of pride in my food,” said Lovett. “It’s like mom and dad are making the food.”
While he’s just recently set up shop near Dagsboro, Lovett has been in the restaurant industry throughout his life, getting his knowledge of Italian cuisine by training with chefs in Philadelphia, where he’s originally from. That knowledge includes all types of pizza, but Lovetti’s offers up much more.
“I do more than just pizza,” he said. “I make my own chicken wings, mozzarella sticks… I do everything from scratch. That’s the major difference here.”
In 2007, a 12-foot-tall and 16-foot-wide granite memorial rose from the ground upon its unveiling at the Marvel Museum in Georgetown. The dedication of this monument was the fulfillment of the Delaware Grays Camp #2068, Sons of Confederate Veterans, pledge to honor those Delawareans who served the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
Native plants are the best of both worlds; they bring natural beauty and wildlife to the back yard, but they were also meant to live in coastal Delaware, so they are less likely to need extra water or nutrients.
Their popularity accounts for the 11th year of the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale, on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The nighttime cocktail party also returns on the eve of the sale.
Organizer Sally Boswell of event sponsor the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays called this the “one-stop-shop for going native in your garden,” hosted annually at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.
“The big stores, for the most part — they have not gotten into native plant offerings in their nurseries. So it’s our small, local, independent nurseries that are leading the way in that,” said Boswell.
Five nurseries will sell thousands of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees.
I was standing there at Indian River High School, watching the Lady Indians take on Milford last Friday night... until I realized that I wasn’t.
Despite starting the season with seven straight road games, the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team is a perfect 7-0, most recently capping a pair of 6-0 wins against both Cape Henlopen and Delmar.
During the impressive run, they’ve only given up one score, collectively outscoring their opponents by an astounding 45 goals, and look primed for not only another conference championship run but possibly a state title run, as well, headed into their first home game of the season against Laurel on Thursday, April 23.
Indians 6, Cape Henlopen 0
After making her return from Europe, where she competed in the Olympic Development program, All-State forward junior Brooke Beam made her presence known early and often — racking up a staggering four goals in the first half, to give the Indians a 4-0 lead at the break.
Down 8-3 against Milford heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Indians were running out of chances to pull out a division win Friday, April 17. But that’s exactly when the hitting began to get contagious, as the young softball squad rallied with six scores, to eventually edge the Bucs 9-8.
“We all just passed the bat around,” said junior Tiffany Rybicki of the offensive rally. “I think that this was the best hitting game that we’ve all worked together on.”
Before they mounted the comeback, however, the girls had the difficult task of shaking off a tough loss to Delmar their previous game.
“Losses hit you hard, whether it’s by one or whether it’s by 10,” said head coach Erika Brittingham. “Before this game, I told this girl, ‘Whether it’s 10-0 we’re winning or 10-0 we’re losing, I wanna see the same team.’”
“After that game, we just knew that that wasn’t the team who we really are,” added to Rybicki. “At practice, we came out and we were ready.”
The Indian River High School baseball team saw their win streak cut short against Milford on Friday, bested by the Bucs 8-2.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Indians managed runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but ultimately left too many runners stranded to mount a comeback.
“They came out. They were aggressive. They got their hits in. They were looking for first pitch strike, and they went ahead and tattooed it, and they were putting runners on,” explained coach Chris Megee.
“We had our opportunities, too. We put runners on just about every inning, but we didn’t cash them in.”
The Indians are on the field, they’re in the Coastal Point and, now, they can be on your smartphone, too, as Indian River High School this week officially unleashed their Team App — the free smartphone app designed to keep fans, parents and athletes up to date.
The tensions were high after nearly two hours of deadlocked play between the Indian River and Cape Henlopen girls’ tennis teams Tuesday afternoon, going all the way down to a tiebreaker match before the Vikings finally pulled out a 3-2 victory.
The team had gotten first-singles player Seung Son back after she had to miss the Sussex Central match while on a band trip to Florida, but the senior had no trouble getting back in the groove, taking down Cape Henlopen senior TyKia Duffy, 6-0, 6-2.
“Last year, it was harder, because she played more defense,” explained Son of her opponent. “This year, she was more offensive.”
Second-singles player senior Zoe Richard was out on the courts the longest. After splitting sets with Cape junior Anna Steiner 6-2, 6-1, the match went into extra sets where Steiner eventually notched the 7-5 win.
Lawless reflects on time on council
At this week’s Ocean View Town Council meeting, councilman Bill Olsen suggested the Town request that the two temporary traffic signals at the intersections of Windmill Avenue with Central Avenue and Cedar Drive with Central Avenue remain in place following construction.
Following eight hours at the polls, Ocean View residents had made their voices heard by electing Carol Bodine to serve as District 4 councilperson for the next three years.
Bodine was one of four candidates running for the council seat held by term-limited councilman Bob Lawless.
Bodine, a Wedgefield resident, won the seat with 133 votes. Candidate Kent Liddle received 85 votes, Jon DeBuchananne received 23 votes, and Don Walsh received 14.
“I’m thrilled at the results,” said Bodine. “I’m honored that I was with such a qualified group and that I still won. They were all good people and would’ve done a good job.”
During the campaign, Bodine, along with friends and family, campaigned throughout the town and were able to knock on the door of every voter.
“We didn’t miss a house… I had a great team. We knocked on every door in three weeks. We covered all of the Ocean View voters. … When people were coming out to vote, they told me, ‘You were the one who came to the door, and I appreciated that.’
Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, gave Sussex County Council members an update on the Freeman Stage at Bayside earlier this week. Grimes said “the arts are alive” in Sussex County while sharing the progress the foundation has made.
According to its website, the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, “aims to create opportunities to elevate the human spirit through the arts, for residents of Sussex County and the surrounding area, by partnering to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.”
“We are a foundation on a mission,” she told the council. “Our mission has been consistent with partnering to present memorable performances and inspire arts education for all… Those last two words are very important to us: ’for all.’
“Having access for everyone in Sussex County, including guests that are coming into the county to enjoy high-quality arts experiences.”
Delaware State Police continue to investigate a Dagsboro home-invasion robbery that occurred in late January.
According to police, on Jan. 23, about 11:15 p.m., a 26-year-old woman returned from work to her home on Piney Neck Road and parked in her driveway. There, they said, three black men confronted her as she exited her vehicle.
At that time, police said, she was forced to the ground, with one of the suspects allegedly displaying an unknown make and model of handgun. Two of the suspects then allegedly forced her into the residence and demanded money.
According to the DSP, the victim complied and gave one of the suspects an undisclosed amount of money. The victim reported that a third black man stood next to the residence.
The South Bethany Town Council will see some new faces after the May 23 election. Six residents are currently competing for three seats, but councilmembers Tony Caputo, Jim Gross and Al Rae did not file for reelection. The positions carry a two-year term.
Pending their eligibility reviews on April 17, candidates include Elizabeth Baker, Don Boteler, Joel Danshes, Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber. (William Bombright withdrew shortly after filing.)
Absentee ballots are available for any resident unable to vote at Town Hall on May 23. To request an absentee ballot, residents should contact Town Hall for an affidavit. After that is returned, a ballot will be mailed. They can also visit Town Hall in person to complete both forms during regular operating hours. Absentee ballots must be filed with the Town no later than 3 p.m. on election day.
The civil trial of former Sussex County councilman Vance Phillips began early this week in the Kent County Courthouse, dealing with allegations that Phillips had sexually assaulted and threatened a young woman who had worked on his political campaign.
After being called to a residence on Parkview Street in Millville by the Sea around 9 p.m. on April 2 for a reported domestic incident, Delaware State Police subsequently arrested a 62-year-old Ocean View man on drug charges.