Atlantic Avenue is one of Bethany Beach’s most-used streets. In fact, the town’s easternmost north-south street tops all roadways in the state for pedestrian traffic density during the busy summer season.
The Bethany Beach Town Council at its Feb. 13 council workshop reviewed the most recent draft of the Town’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year. A public hearing on the budget is planned in March.
Finance Director Janet Connery said the draft calls for $9.4 million overall, with $7.7 million of that in operating costs, $600,000 for capital projects and $488,000 for debt repayment.
Across Delaware, public recycling services are significantly improving in some areas, but people may have to drive farther to get there.
In lieu of following up on a recommendation to buy a new town trolley, Bethany Beach staff are now recommending the Town move back to a single, longer trolley route. That could save the Town around $360,000 — the $400,000 cost of a new trolley, minus the trade-in value of one of the existing three trolleys.
Bethany Beach’s history will be getting some attention in the coming summer season, as the Town’s Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee (CHAC) prepares for the opening of the historical Dinker Cottage as a museum, which is anticipated to happen in the coming months.
When the phone at the town hall in Nichols, S.C. rings, callers hear a message about how “normal town operations have been suspended” until further notice. A female voice instructs callers how best to reach the town’s officials in the meantime, ending her message with a reminder to residents that “We are Nichols strong.”
For the sixth straight year, local residents can ring in the New Year with the Hair of the Dog 5K/10K, and for the 21st year in a row, they can follow it up with the Leo Brady Exercise like the Eskimos Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.
The downtown Bethany Beach-based event is set to get underway on Sunday, Jan. 1, with the race starting off at Parkwood Street and Atlantic Avenue, and ending at the Bethany Beach Bandstand.
Hundreds of runners from all age groups and experience levels are expected, to compete on the family friendly and “festive” course.
The first 350 runners to complete the race will receive official finishing medals to go along with both overall and age group awards.
Building on last year’s successful debut, Bethany Beach will again celebrate the holidays each Saturday in December with Weekend Wonderland, which will feature special shopping hours, and festive activities including caroling around the town’s boardwalk holiday tree, free gift-wrapping, a holiday movie, crafts for children and a chance to meet characters from the Disney movie “Frozen.”
The cooler nights of December are going to give way to a tropical breeze this weekend, with the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation’s (QRCF) annual Caribbean Christmas event at Mango’s in downtown Bethany Beach on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Bethany Beach could move in the near future to switch from its signature trolley-style bus for in-town public transportation to instead using a jeep pulling a tram.
Bethany Beach firefighters were among those who recently rescued a dog who had been swept out to sea.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) dispatch center received a call just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 about a dog that needed to be rescued from the water about a mile south of the Indian River Inlet.
While swimming, Cruz, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, was swept about 500 yards offshore and was unable to return to land on his own. DAS officers were immediately dispatched and requested water rescue equipment and assistance from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
It’s not a beach without sand, and local coastal towns are meeting to discuss beach replenishment and possibly lobbying federal agencies for previously promised funding.
Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon said at Monday’s council workshop that he planned to meet this week with South Bethany, Fenwick Island and Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) officials.
The rough sea did not deter two Town of Bethany Beach employees from braving the waters to save an 11-year-old boy on Monday.
Artisans from around the region are preparing their wares this week for one of the most popular events of the “shoulder season” in Bethany Beach.
The Artisan Festival, now in its ninth year, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Bethany Beach fire hall.
Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, the fair features the work of more than 50 artisans, according to Auxiliary President Kristen Steele.
Pottery, glassware, earrings, baskets, clothing and a variety of artwork are just a few of the fine examples of craftsmanship offered at the fair.
Dagsboro resident Pam Browne is looking forward to the fair, where she and her cousin, Millsboro resident Renee Valeski, will once again share their “deco-mesh” wreaths.
The two began making the colorful wreaths about two years ago.
The size — or, more specifically, the appearance of size — of homes in Bethany Beach is an issue that has long been discussed by the Town and many of its citizens. Large new multi-story homes built next to the town’s traditional single-story cottages and moderate-sized beach homes on pilings have been a point of contention between property owners and neighbors for years.
Operation SEAs the Day’s Warrior Week 2016 is well under way, but there is still time for community members to get involved.
The 38th Annual Boardwalk Arts Festival will get under way this Saturday, Sept. 10, with more than 100 artists from around the country slated to feature their work along the boardwalk in downtown Bethany Beach.
Jewelry, glass, pottery, watercolor and oil painting, photography, basketry and woodworking are just some of the artistic mediums set for display, with all work for sale.
Crocodile tears are encouraged at this funeral, as visitors and locals will “mourn” the end of summer at the 2016 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 5.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., three New Orleans-style Dixieland bands will lead the tongue-in-cheek funeral procession from the north end of the Bethany Beach boardwalk (at 2nd Street) to the bandstand.
The Southern Delaware resort area’s most unusual celebration takes place in the “Quiet Resort” of Bethany Beach on Labor Day, and everybody is invited, according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, the assistant chairpersons of this year’s Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral events, which will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 5, and benefit Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.
(Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of previews of the 10 homes that will be on display during the 25th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 27-28 from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.)
One look at the cork-faced tower of windows and the tangerine front door, and it’s clear that this brand new contemporary home is not a typical South Bethany beach house. Designed to be a complete departure from the owners’ primary home in New Jersey, this canal-front retreat —which is just a short walk to the beach — is infused with a sense of fun that allows this active family of five to feel like they’re on vacation every time they walk in the door.
Natural light from the three-story glass tower streams in from the south through the open risers of the stairwell to warm the polished concrete floors on the first floor, opening up the space and making the home feel much larger than its 2,100 square feet.
A large glass garage-style door opens up the north side of the greatroom, beckoning to the deck and the canal beyond. Upstairs, a master suite is separated from the remaining three bedrooms on the top level, allowing for plenty of space and privacy for the couple and their three teenagers.
The choice of calm gray tones throughout the house is punctuated by whimsical wall art and pops of vibrant color, beginning with the front door and accenting each room beyond. Furnishings are modern minimalist but are warmed by natural wood elements that appear to soften every room. As longtime visitors to the Delmarva shore, the owners said they feel their new waterfront home is the perfect spot for the active lifestyle the family was seeking.
For years, one of Bethany Beach’s greatest attractions has been nestled amongst its best-kept secrets.
The town’s heritage walking trail — which, according to Carol Olmstead, chairwoman of the Town’s Cultural & Historic Affairs Committee, has been around several years now — offers a glimpse into the rich history and sometimes tumultuous past of the once-sleepy beach community.
A student worker from Moldova passed away earlier this week after being hit by a truck in Bethany Beach on June 26.
According to police, Anastasia Ciolpan, 20, who was residing in Ocean View for the summer, was riding her bicycle southbound on the southbound shoulder of Kent Avenue just north of Jefferson Bridge Road while Dustin L. Lowe, 23, of Frankford, was driving a 2011 Ford Escape southbound on Kent Avenue, approaching her from behind.
According to police, for unknown reasons, Lowe’s vehicle struck the bicycle from behind, knocking Ciolpan to the ground in the right lane, just east of the southbound fog line.
Lowe continued south on Kent Avenue without slowing or stopping, police said.
“Another bicyclist was riding with her and witnessed the crash. A passerby called 911,” said MCpl. Gary Fournier, public information officer for the Delaware State Police.
Ciolpan was initially transported by EMS to Beebe Healthcare, where she was stabilized before being flown by Lifenet to Christiana Medical Center, where she had been admitted in critical condition prior to succumbing to her injuries.
On Monday, Brett Warner joined a long list of public servants and local legends proudly serving grand marshal in Bethany Beach’s annual Fourth of July Parade.
The Town’s Fourth of July Parade Committee appointed Warner with the honor in recognition of his decades of hard work and leadership with the Town’s Public Works Department.
Having moved to the area with his family in 1969, when he was just 6, Warner has a long history with the local community. According to Warner, he started working for the Town in 1977, as a 14-year-old part-time summer employee.
Back then, the town was much different and the “development boom” had yet to take off.
“That’s the big thing that’s changed around here,” Warner said. “Back then, you look at big communities like Bethany West and they only had a dozen houses. Now look at them.”
Ocean View resident Michelle Meadows has had plenty of chances to perfect the art of the children’s book. Her eighth and most recently published book, “Super Bugs,” is designed for children and parents to enjoy, filled with vibrant illustrations of crawly creatures illustrated by Georgia-based Bill Mayer, as well as Meadows’ “bouncy” rhymes.
This weekend, Tidepool Toys & Games in Bethany Beach will be hosting Meadows for the launch of “Super Bugs” at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 9.
“The Super Bugs Book Bash” will feature a reading, a book signing, light refreshments and an insect craft. The book, which is targeted toward children 2 to 6, follows a trio of heroic Super Bugs from morning until night as they save their fellow insects from hungry frogs, falling tomatoes and other dangers.
In addition to writing, Meadows has a strong passion for kids and for family. She grew up in Washington, D.C, with her older brother, Marcus, and her parents, Geraldine and Melvin. Even from a young age, Meadows always had an interest in writing — particularly poetry, for which she was involved in a number of school clubs.
Upon finishing school in D.C., she left to go to Syracuse University and studied magazine broadcasting and graduated a semester early, with the Class of 1991, before returning to D.C. to work for The Washingtonian magazine. Soon after, she got married to her husband, Rich, and they moved to Maryland, where they lived until her son, Chase, finished high school.
Bethany Beach Surf Shop owner Jim McGrath has a folder in his store that he says documents more than 300 instances of “confusion” between his store and another business in town.
McGrath says the folder contains evidence that the other business is selling “bootleg” T-shirts that use a logo very similar to the one on shirts he sells at the business he has owned for 36 years.
This weekend, Civil War enthusiasts will get the chance to meet with Bethany Beach author and Civil War historian Tom Ryan.
Warrior Beach Week is just around the corner
In 67 days, 25 military veterans and their families will travel to Bethany Beach for a week of support and relaxation, thanks to the nonprofit organization Operation SEAs the Day.
It was late last spring when Brittany Baker returned home from Puerto Rico, expecting to tend to someone else’s bar.
Spending the better part of her life’s so-far quarter-century in South Bethany, and after graduating from the University of Delaware, it was just something that she had always done — sticking together a routine résumé of winter world travel and growing up on sunny-season jobs along the Bethany boardwalk, swirling Dickey’s Frozen Custard, working at Breakers Surf Shop and slinging gin at area restaurants.
Then, she got a phone call.
“It was very random,” Baker said of the unexpected suggestion from long-time friend Erin Ternahan — whose family owns Breakers and, at the time, also owned the shop adjacent, formerly known as “The Parlour.”
“We were kind of joking — she was like, ‘Buy it — we’ll be neighbors. It’ll be like old times — like we’re 14 again.’”
No longer 14, when Baker brought the idea up to her parents, Ken and Ann Baker, one supper-night, it didn’t seem as funny as it did functional.
The family had long been boiling on ideas for a business in their hometown, never quite finding one cooked with enough consistency to stick to the fridge.
Until that night, when that one finally did.
One of the goals of the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral this year is a serious one — to help improve the health and wellbeing of families in the greater coastal areas by supporting Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, the assistant chairpersons of this year’s Jazz Funeral events.
All those who help organize and participate in the annual Jazz Funeral have a high level of appreciation for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, said Bacon.
“The purpose of the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity programs are to build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families in Sussex County,” Bacon said. “This year’s 31st Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral and our 11th annual Jazz Funeral Silent Auction are dedicated to Habitat for Humanity.”
More funds are needed to continue SCHH’s Sussex County programs, according to Wright, who said she believes their need for “grassroots support” helps explain their approach to helping others.
“Habitat for Humanity’s philosophy is simple and straight-forward,” Wright said. “Habitat provides a ‘hand-up, not a hand-out.’”
Working in conjunction with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is Sussex County Habitat for Humanity’s Development Director James A. “Jay” Gundy III.
“For 25 years, Sussex County Habitat has been putting God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope,” Gundy said. “It is a proven fact that when low-income families move out of substandard housing situations into simple, decent and affordable homes, they become healthier, the families are able to contribute to the community, and children learn and perform better in school.”
Drone hobbyists have been given official notice by the Town of Bethany Beach: Flying those increasingly popular unmanned aircraft over any property but their own is likely to get them in trouble.