Fenwick Island News

Town of Fenwick Island, Delaware

Population:

  • 379 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Fourth Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., town hall meeting room

Elections:

  • First Saturday in August, alternating slate of four and three seats, two-year terms; mayor/council president chosen from among the council, with a one-year term

Town office:

  • 800 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE 19944; (302) 539-3011, fax (302) 539-1305

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Audrey Serio, Mayor
  • Gene Lagnan, Vice-Mayor
  • Diane Tingle, Secretary
  • Gardner Bunting, Treasurer

  • William Weistling
  • Roy Williams
  • Todd Smallwood

Town Manager:

  • Linda Pole

Town Clerk:

  • Agnes DiPietrantonio

Finance Assistant:

  • Josie Correnti

Building Official:

  • Patricia Schuchman

Standing committees:

  • Beautification/ Parks & Recreation, Beach, Environmental, Planning, Board of Adjustments, Board of Elections, Audit, Budget, Building, Charter and Ordinance, Commercial Action, Emergency Management

Police:

  • William Boyden, Chief

Town Solicitor:

  • Tempe Steen

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-2000

Beach patrol:

  • Tim Ferry, Captain
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend each summer (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) and then two more weekends thereafter, and every day through Labor Day and then two weekends after Labor Day.

Trash pick-up:

  • October through April, Monday only. May through September, Monday & Thursday. Heavy trash pickup, June 8, 9 & 10 and September 9, 10, & 11.

Curbside recycling:

  • A voluntary townwide curbside recycling program through DSWA has been instituted beginning in 2008. Property owners may sign up on the town Web site or at town hall. Pick-ups are on Fridays, weekly from May to September and bi-weekly during the other months. The Fenwick Island Lions Club also collects aluminum cans in a bin behind town hall.

Fenwick sets Feb. 3 workshop on freeboard, building height

Fenwick Island officials will hold a workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at town hall, to get input from the public on the proposed Chapter 88 flood-damage reduction ordinance that council members have been wrestling with for months.

West Fenwick locals getting hooked on Yellowfin’s

There are many bars and restaurants in the area, but it’s a little harder for a local resident find a place where “everybody knows your name,” especially along the Route 54 corridor east of Selbyville. However, there’s a new spot for the locals to gather now that Yellowfin’s Bar & Grill has opened its doors in the Williamsville Shopping Center.

Sophia’s offers fine jewelry and more

People passing through Fenwick Island may have noticed more shimmer and sparkle since Sophia’s Fine Jewelry opened its doors Dec. 4, 2014, offering one-of-a-kind jewelry, service, and most importantly, a chance to make precious memories.

Groundbreaking set for Bayside McDonald’s

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, for a new McDonald’s in Selbyville, to be owned and operated by The Meoli Companies. The site of the restaurant will be at 36218 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, west of Fenwick on Rt. 54, in the new Bayside CVS parking lot.

Burglary hits Bethany-Fenwick Chamber

The Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s offices were broken into recently, with an estimated $4,000 worth of electronics stolen.

“We were broken into,” said Executive Director Kristie Maravalli. “It happened overnight, and they got in through a back window. When we came in Monday (Dec. 29, 2014) and saw that it had happened we called the state police.”

Community members invited to plunge into 2015

Coastal Point • File Photo: People have literally gone ‘head over heels’ for the Exercise Like the Eskimos event in Bethany Beach over the years.Coastal Point • File Photo: People have literally gone ‘head over heels’ for the Exercise Like the Eskimos event in Bethany Beach over the years.This New Year’s Day, many people will flock to the beach in order to participate in the time-honored tradition of taking the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean to ring in 2015.

On Jan. 1, the Town of Fenwick Island will hold the Fenwick Freeze at the beach just off Bayard Street.

Those who wish to participate may on the register day of the event, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per person, and participants will receive a Fenwick Freeze beach towel. Everyone will run into the ocean at 10:30 a.m.

Now in its 11th year, the Freeze supports the Fenwick Island Lifeguard National Competition Fund.

Tim Ferry, captain of the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol, said the swim used to support both the beach patrol and Sussex County EMS teams but now solely donates the money to the patrol.

Samaritan Thrift Shop wraps up another successful year of community giving

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Volunteers are all smiles at the end of another day at Samaritan Thrift Shop. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Ellen Rankin, and Ruth and Charlie Sheaffer; back row, Pat Plocek, John Regan, Sharon Page, Linda Lewis and Theo Brans.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Volunteers are all smiles at the end of another day at Samaritan Thrift Shop. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Ellen Rankin, and Ruth and Charlie Sheaffer; back row, Pat Plocek, John Regan, Sharon Page, Linda Lewis and Theo Brans.When Pat Plocek considers the fact that Samaritan Thrift Shop gave the community $48,000 this year, he can only say, “That’s a lot of $1 and $2 pieces of clothing.”

Located in a simple Route 54 warehouse in Williamsville, the nonprofit shop is pleasant. Music is playing, clothes and jewelry are displayed, and Christmas decorations softly light the shop.

Just because they pay less, shoppers shouldn’t have less of a retail experience, said Plocek, who is serving as temporary manager.

“We’re here for the community. We’re not here to make money,” he said.

Samaritan Thrift Shop is ready in times of need. So, families suffering house fires can request a recommendation from their churches to shop Samaritan Thrift Shop for free.

But low-priced items are available for anyone on a tight budget.

CVS opens its doors at Bayside Marketplace

The Carl M. Freeman Companies this week announced the official opening of CVS/pharmacy at Bayside Marketplace, located at the southwest corner of Route 54 and Americana Parkway, across from Bayside Marketplace. The 13,281-square-foot store opened Oct. 26 and offers pharmacy service, health, beauty and personal-care offerings, general merchandise, food and digital photo services.

Local author pens second book

Following up on the success of her first book, Fenwick Island resident Fran Hasson recently published her second novel, “Mothers and Other Strangers.” The book is a follow-up to her self-published first novel, “Allawe,” which follows Marla and Vern Alexander’s journey after Marla discovers a box of ashes that has washed up on shore — a story element sparked by a real-life local find.

In “Mothers and Other Strangers,” the story follows Vern Alexander, whose mother reveals a family secret from her hospital bed.

“It’s a story of rejection, guilt, motherly love and not-so-motherly love,” explained Hasson. “It’s based on a true story, just like ‘Allawe.’ This time, it’s based on a family secret and a family situation that eventually had a happy ending.”

Fenwick Island officials begin beach planning for 2015

After a close look at advertising, Fenwick Island Town Council agreed to adjust the terms of Lifeguard Stand Sponsorship in October.

By allowing businesses to advertise on lifeguard stands, the Town first made $13,000 in 2013. That dropped to $7,000 this summer.

Fenwick may loosen building restrictions for businesses

Despite a seeming lack of building now, Fenwick Island’s Charter and Code Committee is brainstorming new business footprints for the future.

After Town Council recently rejected changes to commercial setbacks, it was back to the drawing board on Nov 3, with the concept of placing businesses right next to the road, with parking in the rear.

Awards, Bands and Costumes: the ABCs of a parade

Coastal Point • File Photo : Everybody gets into the spirit at the Selbyville Halloween Parade.Coastal Point • File Photo : Everybody gets into the spirit at the Selbyville Halloween Parade.Every year, thousands of people agree: the Selbyville Halloween Parade is the place to be. The classic tradition will return Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., once again sponsored by the Fenwick Island Lions Club and Town of Selbyville.

“I’m surprised at how many people say, ‘I was in that parade when I was a kid,’” organizer Fran Pretty has said in the past. “So I think that’s a testimony to how people look forward to it.”

People may line the streets from Town Hall to PNC Bank, where the judging and main performances occur.

Besides rocking out to several local high school bands, people can take in appearances by floats, gymnasts, candidates for public office, fire trucks, scout troops, pageant winners, farm equipment, classic cars and much more.

‘Grab a drink, grab a brush and let the fun begin’

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : Six ladies from the Millsboro area’s ‘Girls Night Out’ group pose with their finished paintings during PaintNite at Smitty McGee’s near Fenwick Island.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : Six ladies from the Millsboro area’s ‘Girls Night Out’ group pose with their finished paintings during PaintNite at Smitty McGee’s near Fenwick Island.It was in May when Dawn McGee, owner of West Fenwick Island’s Smitty McGee’s, got an unsolicited email about PaintNite Delaware and its slogan, “Grab a Drink, Grab a Brush and Let the Fun Begin.”

“‘What do you think?’ I asked two older men, regular customers, who happened to be sitting at the bar,” recalled McGee. “And when they both agreed, ‘That’s a hit,’ I decided to follow up.”

McGee’s office is located on the side of the building adjacent to the Lucky Dining Room. Previously at this time of the year, after the crowds have left, the room was always quiet. “But now every Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, I hear happy sounds of lots of people having a good time and laughing,” she said.

“I was surprised how many visitors came in the summer for the Thursday afternoon classes, as a break from the beach. Now the afternoon sessions provide a perfect activity for stay-at-home moms before the kids get home. And they all get to take home their own signed masterpiece,” she added.

PaintNite involves a social atmosphere in which an instructor and an assistant teach groups of people, seated at long tables, how to paint specifically designed paintings. Each participant starts with a blank 16-by-20-inch canvas on an easel, three different-sized brushes, a paper plate with squirts of the different colors of acrylic paint needed, a cup of water to clean the brushes… and a glass of one’s beverage of choice.

DNREC struggling to maintain local beach crossings

After another summer of the trek to the ocean being a little too tall of an order for some beachgoers, Tony Pratt of DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management division stopped by Fenwick Island town hall on Sept. 26 to discuss dune maintenance with the town council. The core problem with maintaining beach accessibility, he said, is too much to do with too few resources.

Arts & Jazz Festival set for Saturday at Freeman

The seventh annual Arts & Jazz Festival will hit the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick this weekend, showcasing live jazz performances and local artists.

‘Sun’s out, buns out!’: Twilley’s Hot Dog Hut gets frank in Fenwick

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Twilley's Hot Dog Hut offers custom made dogs inspired by the cities that are famous for them, but the Fenwick based restaurant also features a lot more.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Twilley's Hot Dog Hut offers custom made dogs inspired by the cities that are famous for them, but the Fenwick based restaurant also features a lot more.While the dog days of summer may be dwindling, the hot dog days are just getting under way in Fenwick Island, as Twilley’s Hot Dog Hut opened its doors last week, just in time for Labor Day. Owned by Fenwick local Mark Twilley, who brings extensive restaurant-industry experience, the venture has been a long time in the making.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. To actually be in the town I grew up in — it’s awesome, it makes it even better,” he said of being able to launch a business in his home town. “A lot of friends and family have come in to help support me, and I’m greatly appreciative of that and, hopefully, the word of mouth spreads and [we] just keep picking up the business.”

Twilley said he got the idea for the business when he and his girlfriend, Tara Sansone, were brainstorming ideas for things that the area was missing.

Full slate of primary elections set for Sept. 9

In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.

Drivers urged to not let ‘suicide lanes’ live up to their name

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Rep. Ron Gray is concerned that people using center turn lanes as merge lanes is dangerous.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Rep. Ron Gray is concerned that people using center turn lanes as merge lanes is dangerous.Traffic can get pretty backed up on a two-lane road. Imagine getting stuck behind the person who can’t turn left because oncoming traffic blocked his way. That’s why center turn lanes are such a timesaver. Drivers can wait there to turn off the roadway, or use it as a merge lane to slip into traffic.

It’s legal to use a center turn lane in either way, but state Rep. Ron Gray is among those concerned that multiple cars may travel in opposite directions in a single lane at the same time.

“I’m afraid for safety reasons,” Gray said. “People need to be aware that the center turn lane is very useful and it needs to be used with caution.”

He first heard eyewitness accounts of near-collisions from his tenants at Hit the Deck outdoor furnishings on Route 54.

“We witness it,” said owner Kebbie Crout. “We see a lot of people pulling out from their neighborhoods,” planning to merge into traffic. “Of course,” Crout added, “when you’re looking to merge, you’re looking behind you” at openings in your desired lane, not at the cars potentially sitting ahead.

“Or seeing people use it as a passing lane… pass my trucks, pass each other. It is becoming a major safety hazard.”

Fenwick Lions offer vision screening to vets and families

The Fenwick Island Lions Club, Millsboro American Legion and the Ocean View VFW — in the spirit of the newly formed Delaware Joining Forces initiative designed to encourage veterans and community service organizations to work more closely together — will offer a free vision screening opportunity, starting this month, to veterans and their families.

Little boat, big water: Local man circumnavigates Delmarva by pontoon

Coastal Point • Submitted : Alex Daly navigated his pontoon boat in Virginia’s inland waterways from Assateague, Md., to Cape Charles, Va.Coastal Point • Submitted : Alex Daly navigated his pontoon boat in Virginia’s inland waterways from Assateague, Md., to Cape Charles, Va.Pontoon boats were made for balmy days on the bay. But for one Fenwick Islander, they were made for adventure.

Alex Daly dreamed of a 10-day Delmarva cruise. He said sailors typically circumnavigate Delmarva Peninsula by sea, cutting down the Atlantic, around to the Chesapeake. But he wanted to use an old “intricate” system — the Virginia inland waterways, winding from Assateague, Md., to Cape Charles, Va.

“It’s been there quite a while. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard’s going to stop maintaining it this year,” Daly said. “That’s one of my incentives to do it this year, before they pull the markers.”

Daly needed a shallower vessel to float over the inland maze: his pontoon boat.

“The pontoon is the only thing that goes through the Assawoman Canal, pretty much. There’s spots that are less than 2 feet.”

Fond memories of couple devoted to Fenwick, each other

The AlexandersThe AlexandersAfter 65 years of marriage, John and Betty Alexander were still a team, ever in love with each other and with Fenwick Island. Passing away in July, within six days of each other, the Alexanders were even memorialized with a rare double obituary, published in the Coastal Point on July 18.

Summering for decades on Oyster Bay Drive, Elizabeth “Betty” Alexander, 86, and John “Jerry” Alexander, 87, seemed to attract life.

“The love of their lives was Fenwick Island,” said their daughter, Carolyn Wheale of North Carolina. “I would say most of their friends are down in Fenwick. The whole family’s been meeting there and going there for 50 years, just about.”

The Alexanders were always the first to greet new neighbors.

“Every afternoon, they had their own little happy hour on the back porch,” said neighbor Sally Craig.

“They were in their 70s when we first met them, but they were two of the most widely wholly alive individuals that I’ve ever met,” said neighbor Cheryl Himmelfarb. “A highlight of our beach weekend would be happy hour with John and Betty.”

Claddagh brings Fenwick a taste of Irish pubs

Claddagh Pub owner Mike Clarke is not Irish. He doesn’t serve Irish food. He doesn’t really even like Irish food. However, when he went to open up his first bar/restaurant in 1995, he could think of no better concept than an Irish pub.

Volunteers needed for Inland Bays Cleanup

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Division of Parks & Recreation are seeking volunteers and boats for the 10th annual Inland Bays Cleanup. The Cleanup will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, and end about 1 p.m.