South Bethany

S. Bethany candidates have their say before Saturday’s election

It’s time for voters to make their call, as the South Bethany town council election allows them to choose this week from five candidates vying for three seats. Polls will be open Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at town hall.

S. Bethany police project gets sky-high bids

Construction costs are already vexing the proposed expansion of the South Bethany Police Department building, and the project has barely been approved.

The Town opened construction bids recently, only to find that the base bids were around $225,000, which is about $70,000 more than they had expected.

Candidate bows out from South Bethany council race

Five candidates remain in May 27 election for three seats

By Laura Walter
Staff Reporter

As South Bethany’s town council election approaches on May 27, part-time South Bethany resident and current Councilman Wayne Schrader has decided to exit the race.

Schrader is an attorney in Virginia, where he said this year’s trial calendar and caseload are so packed that he could not dedicate the time that South Bethany deserves.

Made By Hand to host 15th annual Fair Trade Day

Coastal Point • File Photo: Itzel Aguilar, Edgar Lopez and Chris Clark show off wood-burning art during a past World Fair Trade Day at Made By Hand in South Bethany.Coastal Point • File Photo: Itzel Aguilar, Edgar Lopez and Chris Clark show off wood-burning art during a past World Fair Trade Day at Made By Hand in South Bethany.South Bethany business Made By Hand will be hosting its 15th annual World Fair Trade Day this weekend.

World Fair Trade Day will take place on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 5 p.m., and feature samplings and information from JuiceFresh, a Rehoboth Beach business that produces organic juice and a three-day juice cleanse.

“We always try to find something new and exciting,” said Kimberly Grimes, who co-owns the store with her husband, Marco Hernandez. “In years past, we always focused on a particular artisan. Then we thought, this year, why don’t we focus more on our customers that we love? That came up with the theme — ‘Fair Trade Day: Be Fair to Yourself.’ They’re trying to help people get more energy, have less food cravings.”

Grimes said attendees can also learn how to renew their spirit through detox, raw, vegan and paleo foods.

Hike down memory lane: South Bethany opens history trail

South Bethany is mapping a history trail for all to see.Coastal Point • Laura Walter:  South Bethany Historical Society President Bob McCarthy displays a historical photo of South bethany at the dedication of the Town’s new Trail of History.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: South Bethany Historical Society President Bob McCarthy displays a historical photo of South bethany at the dedication of the Town’s new Trail of History.

Residents gathered at Richard Hall Memorial Park on April 21 to unveil South Bethany’s new Trail of History.

“The fact that you’re here means South Bethany is your own very special part of the earth,” Councilwoman Sue Callaway told the crowd on Earth Day weekend.

The project was a partnership between the Community Enhancement Committee and South Bethany Historical Society.

Starting in the east, five signboards tell South Bethany’s story through the years, from the first purchase of coastal land in the 1950s and quest to incorporate as a town, into the 21st century.

It got conversation buzzing. At each stop, people found photographs of familiar faces and homes. They remembered the canals before bulkheads, docks and regulations; stories of town politics; and swimming in the canals.

“It’s great that you guys found a wonderful place for this,” said Historical Society President Bob McCarthy, who remembers old debates over sewer installation, playgrounds and roads.

“People just don’t have an appreciation of how we got here today,” Callaway said.

SB’s new town manager and clerk announced

South Bethany will welcome two new employees to Town Hall, announcing a new town manager and town clerk.

Town Manager Maureen Hartman will arrive on May 8. She’ll oversee all daily operations and report directly to town council.

South Bethany sees six nominees for three council seats

May 27 election will see some familiar faces

It’s a race! Six candidates have registered for the town of South Bethany’s municipal election, scheduled for May 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Three challengers and three incumbents are on the slate.

Joseph Mormando, Sharon Polansky and Timothy Saxton are running for Town Council seats currently held by Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber Jr.

Burbage retires from South Bethany after 33 years

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: For her years of service, Dee Burbage received tributes from state Rep. Ron Gray, left, and state Sen. Gerald Hocker on behalf of the Delaware State Legislature.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: For her years of service, Dee Burbage received tributes from state Rep. Ron Gray, left, and state Sen. Gerald Hocker on behalf of the Delaware State Legislature.Once, a Missouri man walked into South Bethany Town Hall, utterly lost. He had driven around for two hours, looking for the ocean. The staff were politely baffled. Finally, they asked if he had driven over the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

“Yes,” he said.

“Well, that was the ocean,” Town Clerk Dee Burbage replied.

For 33 years, Burbage has been the welcoming face at South Bethany Town Hall. On April 4, Deloris “Dee” Burbage retired from her position as town clerk.

Regardless of silly questions and sometimes cranky residents, Burbage has served the public for the past 33 years.

“You just learn to laugh with them or say, ‘OK — let me figure that out,’” Burbage said. “For the most part, people are nice.”

Approaching common ground with South Bethany’s cats

The draft of South Bethany’s proposed new law on feral cats begins where the complaints began: by prohibiting people from feeding wild mammals, abandoned cats or stray cats. Thus, people may continue feeding their own house pets or wild birds but may not leave food in such a way that wild or stray animals are likely to consume it.

Local drum circle aiming to ‘Raise the Vibration’

A local drumming group is hoping to expand its circle on Sunday, April 2, when Made By Hand International Co-op in South Bethany will host the group, inviting anyone who wants to come and see what drumming circles are all about.

South Bethany council begins budget planning for 2018

South Bethany Treasurer Don Boteler on March 10 presented the draft budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which the town council will continue discussing over the next few months, ahead of the start of the new fiscal year on May 1.

In the draft, the Town’s operating budget is about $2.4 million, which doesn’t include their reserve and savings accounts.

Few slots left for volunteer for beach-grass planting

If you’ve waited till the last minute to register for this year’s beach-grass planting, your options are quickly disappearing.

South Bethany accepting candidates for 2017 council election

Three South Bethany Town Council seats will be up for election in this spring. Candidates may now submit applications to run for the office. The election will be Saturday, May 27. Candidates must register by Wednesday, April 12, at 4:30 p.m. Each seat carries a two-year term. The seats are currently held by Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber.

Submissions sought for South Bethany photography show

South Bethany photographers can now submit art for the Town’s “Art in the Hall” exhibit, a coastal-themed show.

The photography show is open to any professional, amateur or “avid weekend” photographer. Entrants should be residents, property owners, relatives or somehow closely connected to the Town of South Bethany.

SB councilman: Feeding feral cats the focus, not euthanasia

In South Bethany, Bill Murphy was horrified to discover a colony of feral cats had broken into his house in the winter of 2013-2014.

“The house was winterized,” Murphy said at a Feb. 10 council meeting. “When we returned in the spring, they had lived in the whole house. They had defecated, they had vomited…”

Cusick out, as South Bethany seeks new town manager

The Town of South Bethany is looking for a new leader for Town Hall.

After an executive-session meeting on Jan. 9, the town council voted to terminate the contract of Mel Cusick, ending his tenure with the Town of more than decade. He left that day, officials said.

Mayor Pat Voveris did not give further details into the departure, citing it as a personnel issue.

South Bethany looks at police building, streetlights, sea level

Numbers are settling into place as South Bethany plans its police station expansion, which has a tentative price tag of $232,450 (including an $18,000 contingency fund). The money is available, spread over the next two budget cycles, said Mayor Pat Voveris on Dec. 9.

SB police building not keeping up with needs, consultant says

The South Bethany Police Department doesn’t have room to properly do its job. It’s not because the SBPD suddenly grew in staff. (It hasn’t.) In reality, the police department wasn’t built for all of today’s needs.

S. Bethany talks streetlight requests and new three-way stop

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the dark streets get the light.

After the 2015 South Bethany Community Survey revealed that more people want streetlights, the Town Council has begun researching locations.

Canal Drive had the most requests for service, so that’s being addressed first. Lights will be installed based on public response.

South Bethany increases house height, allows floating docks

After one year of discussion and research, South Bethany will allow floating boat ramps and docks. They unanimously voted Oct. 14 to amend the Town Code (Chapter 50, Bulkheads) to permit the installation of “Modular Floating Docking Systems,” such as floating boat ramps, floating docks and inflatable lifting docks.

It’s about competition: South Bethany increasing police pay

The South Bethany Police Department needs to up its pay scale if it wants to remain competitive with surrounding jurisdictions, said Police Chief Troy Crowson. So the town council approved a $13,031 budget amendment to increase all salaries.

Beauty contest: Community decorates South Bethany canals

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The top three groups in this year’s contest pose for a photo in front of a South Bethany canal end.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The top three groups in this year’s contest pose for a photo in front of a South Bethany canal end.Inviting residents to decorate public space has given South Bethany a series of miniature parks. With five miles of canals, the town has plenty of canal ends that people have decorated and planted for the 6th Annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest.

The Adopt-A-Canal program lets residents take ownership and beautify their community.

“It just truly makes a difference. We’re seeing — as the years pass — the growth of the canal ends,” said organizer Councilwoman Sue Callaway. “And it still gets the community involved in doing something for the town, and it [gets] people together to work on many of them.”

In a municipality where the primary Town revenue is realty-related taxes, South Bethany’s success depends partly on residents who maintain a pleasant living space.

Junkin and Saxton bow out from South Bethany council

This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.

“We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”

Hours extended on South Bethany traffic barricade

Finally armed with official statistics, South Bethany has doubled the hours in which the Cat Hill traffic barricade is in place.

Effective immediately, all eastbound traffic is prohibited from entering Black Gum Drive from Kent Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 15 to Sept. 15.

South Bethany parade makes a splash

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Just one of the boats that participated in the South Bethany Boat Parade on Sunday, July 3.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Just one of the boats that participated in the South Bethany Boat Parade on Sunday, July 3.South Bethany officials this week offered their thanks to the owners of the 17 boats that registered for the third annual South Bethany Boat Parade, as well as the additional boats and kayaks who joined in.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, the canals were lined with residents and visitors prepared to watch the boats making their way along the waterways of South Bethany. Kent and Bobbe Stephan’s boat from S. Anchorage Avenue led the parade with their “Sharknado” theme. Aboard were their son, Jonathan Stephan and his wife, Sam, and Hugh and Ginny Meade.

The “Safety Boat,” captained by Joe Conway of Henlopen Drive, was positioned in the center of the parade. Aboard with Joe and Terry Conway were Mayor Pat Voveris, Police Chief Troy Crowson and Bethany Beach Fire Department representative Dan Cowell.

The Town thanked the parade judges for their unbiased voting. Stationed at the end of Rebecca Road, judges Dave Wilson, Martha Lowe and Anne Long had a bird’s-eye view of the boats coming and going.

S. Bethany to reconsider new barricade hours

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: This peppy homemade sign belies the rage that resident Sandi Roberts said she feels at the seeming lack of pedestrian safety in South Bethany’s Cat Hill neighborhood.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: This peppy homemade sign belies the rage that resident Sandi Roberts said she feels at the seeming lack of pedestrian safety in South Bethany’s Cat Hill neighborhood.South Bethany is prepared to block the road for longer than before, as Town Hall is likely to approve new and longer hours for the eastbound barricade at Black Gum Road.

The Ad-hoc Traffic Committee will recommend that the town council change the official barricade hours from the early morning to a more-useful time period of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The council could approve that change at a July 8 meeting. It would be effective immediately but subject to ongoing traffic study. The barricade would match other traffic restrictions in town with an annual timeframe of May 15 to Sept. 15.

“It’s a good start,” said Council Member Carol Stevenson. “It’s a start.”

South Bethany envisions a larger police building with room to work

Just starting with mockups, the South Bethany Police Department staff imagines having enough room to grow. In June, Chief Troy Crowson presented a proposal to double the size of the existing police building.

Beach towns short on sand but ready for summer

It’s here! The unofficial start of the summer season at the Delaware shore has arrived with Memorial Day weekend, and it’s a time of transition for the area, as the relatively quiet second season of spring sprouts into the hustle and bustle that is the resort area’s high season.

McCabe’s celebrates 30 years in South Bethany

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Pictured, from left: Peter, Rebecca and Richard Mais are ready for the 30th year of serving South Bethany at McCabe’s Gourmet Market.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Pictured, from left: Peter, Rebecca and Richard Mais are ready for the 30th year of serving South Bethany at McCabe’s Gourmet Market.The year is 1985. A young Rebecca Mais has just found out that she didn’t get the job after interviewing for a position at the University of Maryland. The next day, she’ll find out that she’s pregnant.

Mais and her husband, Richard, had already left their posts at the University of South Carolina and were set to relocate in Washington D.C. They were ready for something new. But little did they know then that they’d get more than they’d bargained for when things turned 1986.

Not only was that the year that their first-son, Brandt, was born, in January, but that spring, so was McCabe’s Gourmet Market.

“Rebecca and I laugh — Brandt was born in January, we built an ocean front townhouse that we moved into April 1st, we both left our jobs and then we started the business,” said Richard Mais. “Ten years later, we read a list of the Top 10 reasons people get a divorce, and we had done like seven of them in one year.”

DelDOT officials to monitor South Bethany traffic patterns

Motorists shouldn’t panic when they see state officials monitoring South Bethany around Memorial Day weekend, said Town Councilman George Junkin at the May 13 council meeting.

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