Financial concerns dominated Tuesday night’s meeting of the Ocean View Town Council, as council members wrangled with falling revenue, an increasing need for space for town operations and questions about how much value to place on a public safety program championed by the town’s police chief.
It was a day more than a decade in the making, as Bethany Beach town council members were joined by state and federal officials last Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the Town’s long-planned and, now, completed Streetscape project.
The redesign of a little more than two blocks that make up the town’s primary commercial district included the removal of overhead utility lines and the related poles; new lighting; reorganization of streetside parking, swapping angled parking to the exteriors of the street and parallel parking to the median; redefined bicycle lanes; wider sidewalks, free of the obstruction of utility poles; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curbs and crosswalks featuring inlaid brick; and changes aimed at calming traffic in an area with some of the heaviest pedestrian traffic in the state.
The idea behind Streetscape arose in 2001, with the Town’s beautification subcommittee. Numerous design ideas were floated over the years, with a mixed response from the council and the public. After considering public input on a series of initial designs, the committee did come up with a set of goals for the project:
Memorial Day marks the official kickoff of the summer season, and if this year’s holiday weekend was any indication of what’s ahead, summer 2015 will be a great time for area businesses.
In a South Bethany election with a broad slate of candidates, three new council members have been elected: Carol Stevenson (200 votes), Wayne Schrader (192) and Frank Weisgerber (173). They are filling three seats for which the incumbents did not seek reelection.
Good Earth Market will hold its 8th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the market’s grounds in Clarksville.
Community leaders are being invited to a two-day conference in August at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, which aims to provide opportunities to develop future leaders as a host site for the Global Leadership Summit.
Indian River High School has shown its technical prowess this year, earning official Project Lead the Way Certification for its pre-engineering pathway.
“This is quite an accomplishment, because it is first high school in the state achieving this important milestone,” said Superintendent Susan Bunting at the May 18 meeting of the Indian River School District Board of Education.
Bryan Russo is a storyteller with two voices and many hats.
The first is his speaking voice that many Delmarvans looked forward to hearing every Friday at noon and Saturday at 5 a.m. on his NPR show, “Coastal Connection,” on WAMU-88.3. The second is his singing voice — once described as “a big, bluesy voice that wallops audiences with soulful lyrics that bite.”
The hats — often trilbies — are what you see and may remember initially, until you are moved by the memory of what he says or sings.
Until recently, the music side provided spiritual balance to his hectic life as an acclaimed journalist and popular local personality. It was all too perfect, perhaps: a loving wife who runs the Worcester County, Md., branch of Habitat for Humanity, two great kids, a home in Berlin, Md., and a job he loved.
Although her classroom is at the end a long hallway, Marci Ginsberg’s art class does not exist in a vacuum. At John M. Clayton Elementary School, she uses art to build upon regular classroom lessons.
When fourth-graders learn about polygons, she’ll teach Picasso. When science classes learn about landforms, she’ll teach landscapes, pointing out the mountains and plateaus. She’s also inspired by current events, such as space shuttle or rocket launches.
That’s part of what made Ginsberg the JMC Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016.
“I extend their learning or refine it into another way, and it’s really cool to see them make those connections,” Ginsberg said of the students.
She works closely with other teachers, building on their lessons. She also wrote module maps, so other specialist teachers can follow core classroom standards.
“She tries to align her classroom to what [teachers] are doing and the state standards,” said JMC Principal Charlynn “Char” Hopkins.
A new project along Bethany Beach Loop Canal could see the marsh there slowly restoring itself.
The Delaware Center for Inland Bays has brought the Living Shorelines program to a small chunk of wetlands near the canal, just north of Route 26. By installing pine logs in the shallow water, the CIB hopes to preserve and even rebuild the marsh, naturally.
The goal is to avoid “hardening” shorelines with bulkheads, riprap and seawalls, all of which diminish wildlife, said Sally Boswell, CIB education and outreach coordinator.
In the shallow water, 10- to 20-foot logs were staked in the Salt Pond shallows in a herringbone pattern. It creates a breakwater, so the water is calmer behind the logs on a tiny strip of land that delineates the canal and protects the mainland.
A whopping 24 athletes earned All-Henlopen Conference honors for the 2015 spring season, with 10 first-team selections, 10 second-team selections, and four honorable mentions.
As part of its activities for National Fishing & Boating Week, June 6-14, the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will hold its 29th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at Ingrams Pond in Millsboro, Wyoming Pond in Wyoming and at the dog training area of Lums Pond State Park in Bear.
The Ocean View Historical Complex was buzzing with excitement last Friday, as all five fifth-grade classes from Lord Baltimore Elementary School were able to tour the facilities.
“It’s important, I think, for the kids to see physically what life was like in the past, what people had to deal with,” said Richard Nippes, president of the historical society.
Students were able to tour the Tunnell-West house, furnished with period furniture and artifacts; an 1800s outhouse; the town’s first post office, built in 1889; and an exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house.
While in the Tunnell-West house, students were given a tour and then sent on a scavenger hunt to find objects that they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with today, such as a chamber pot.
They would also go outside to use a period water pump — to understand that indoor plumbing was not available when the house was built in the late 1800s.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 will host a Memorial Day service at the Bethany Beach bandstand on Monday, May 25. The free service begins at 11 a.m., and the entire community is being invited to attend.
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.
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.
Chris 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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.