Bethany Beach News

Town of Bethany Beach, DE

Population:

  • 1,077 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Third Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., Town Council Chambers

Elections:

  • First Saturday in September, 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:

  • 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Jack Gordon, Mayor
  • Lew Kilmer, Vice-Mayor
  • Jerry Dorfman, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Joseph Healy
  • Rosemary Hardiman
  • Chuck Peterson
  • Margaret Bogan Young

Town Manager:

  • Cliff Graviet

Town Clerk:

  • Lisa A. Kail

Director of Finance:

  • Janet Connery

Building Official:

  • Susan Frederick

Public Works Director:

  • Brett J. Warner

Standing committees:

  • Audit Committee, Board of Adjustments, Board of Assessment, Budget & Finance Committee, Charter and Ordinance Review Committee, Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee, Design Review Committee for C-1 & C-2, Planning Commission,

Police:

  • Mike Redmon, Chief

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-1000

Town Office:

  • (302) 539-8011

Beach patrol:

  • Joe Donnelly
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend (on Saturday) and each day thereafter until Labor Day Monday, and each weekend through September.

Trash pick-up:

  • Every Monday during the offseason and every Monday (Zone 1) & Tuesday (Zone 2)based on two zones during the Summer season.

Curbside recycling:

  • Every other Wednesday in the offseason, and every Wednesday (Zone 1) & Thursday (Zone 2), based on two zones during the Summer season.

Gordon to serve another year as Bethany Beach mayor

Bethany Beach didn’t hold town council elections this year, as there were only three candidates who filed for the three available council seats, but just as with the council makeup for the coming year, the council executive roles will enter the new council year with a slight change.

Scot Sax, Suzie Brown bringing the blues to Dickens

Coastal Point • Submitted Scot Sax and Suzie Brown will be playing at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28.Coastal Point • Submitted Scot Sax and Suzie Brown will be playing at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28.He was writing Grammy-winning songs and dropping visceral guitar riffs in the power pop/rock band Queen Electric. She was a successful cardiologist with a degree from Harvard Medical and an undiscovered voice. They met at a mutual friend’s wedding, danced before they even spoke, got married and started touring together.

With two vastly differing musical backgrounds, influences and tastes, Scot Sax and Suzie Brown may have never envisioned that their styles would mesh. But when the two go on stage at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28, Sussex County will get to hear firsthand just how well those styles have blended together.

“She needed a little more rhythm and upbeat stuff in her set, and I think I needed a little more sensitivity in my set,” Sax explained. “That was a good thing for both of us. Our show now is better than what it was before. The albums are better than before.”

While Sax and Brown seemed to have found their sound playing their own blend of blues both at shows and on their new album, “Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either,” set to release on Sept. 25, it wasn’t always that way.

Bethany Blues/Mango’s crew expands dining options at Bethany’s new hotel

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Danny Somoza and Donna Serafina combined their efforts to bring 99 Sea Level to reality for a trio of partners, Dick Heidenberger, Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber. The restaurant is located in the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Danny Somoza and Donna Serafina combined their efforts to bring 99 Sea Level to reality for a trio of partners, Dick Heidenberger, Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber. The restaurant is located in the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites.For Dick Heidenberger, taking the helm of Bethany Beach’s newest oceanfront restaurant was a move that made a lot of sense.

The endeavor began back in January as a conversation with Jack Burbage, owner of the new Bethany Beach Ocean Suites/Residence Inn. Burbage is also Heidenberger’s landlord at the Bethany Beach eateries Mango’s and Bethany Blues. Once he took a look at the hotel that was still under construction and the plans for the restaurant space, Heidenberger said, he decided to jump onboard.

The rest of the winter brought a flurry of preparations for Heidenberger and partners Steve Montgomery and Jim Weisgerber, Heidenberger said. The trio quickly began assembling a team of people to bring their vision to life. A crucial part of that process was hiring chef Danny Somoza and director of operations Donna Serafina.

“The two of them really put together our playbook here,” Heidenberger said.

That playbook includes a “very innovative menu” that features the freshest ingredients possible. To that end, 99 Sea Level works with a number of local food producers — including, but not limited to: Adkins Produce of Millsboro, Bennett Orchards of Frankford, Fishkiller Lobster Shack of Dagsboro and Sea Eagle Fish Company of Selbyville, in addition to farms and seafood companies from all over the Delmarva Peninsula.

From wild-caught salmon to free-range chicken, the menu features the freshest ingredients available, Heidenberger said. And from those ingredients, “everything that is served here is made fresh, in-house,” he said.

The crowning touch on the 99 Sea Level menu is the Seafood Tower, designed to be as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. The tower comes in three sizes and features blue-point Chincoteague oysters, steamed shrimp, Broadwater clams, steamed Prince Edward Island mussels and steamed Alaskan crab clusters.

The location of the restaurant, which seats 90 inside and 100 outside, is a huge part of what makes it unique — steps from the boardwalk and the dunes, it is one of a very few oceanfront restaurants in the Bethany Beach area. The wide porch, graced with elegant columns and fitted very simply with potted palms, was cool and pleasant even on a recent hot, humid afternoon, with ceiling fans adding to the breeze from the ocean.

A shuffling of dream jobs brings new Chamber employee

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Emilie Bonano recently joined the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce as the communications manager.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Emilie Bonano recently joined the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce as the communications manager.As soon as Emilie Bonano realized that she enjoyed marketing, she wanted to do that in a tourist location. That makes her new position as communications manager for the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce even more fitting.

What is the role of communications manager? “It’s all-encompassing,” she said. She’ll handle all press releases, newsletters, social media and email lists, but also creating, developing and selling ads for Chamber publications.

“Working for such a wonderful organization that really brings all of the tourism businesses together all in one, and being able to make this community united and getting the [word] out there for everyone” really excited her about this job, she said.

Bonano said she wanted to join a group that makes people and tourists “feel at home when they visit,” and get “the community united, and getting our tourists here going to the businesses that are members of the Chamber.”

The Chamber staff was delighted with her experience in marketing, event planning and recruiting.

From mammals to mosaics: Boardwalk Arts Festival rides again

Coastal Point • Submitted: Photos don’t do justice to 3-D glass artworks, where the light twinkles through this mosaic bench, by Celeste Kelly.Coastal Point • Submitted: Photos don’t do justice to 3-D glass artworks, where the light twinkles through this mosaic bench, by Celeste Kelly.Who says Labor Day has to be the end? The summer season continues Saturday, Sept. 12, at the 37th Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Bethany will transform into a free outdoor art festival. More than 100 juried artists will show and sell their finest glass, jewelry, metalwork, pottery, painting, photography, basketry, drawing, woodwork and more.

Artists’ booths will be located on the boardwalk from Campbell Place to Central Avenue, also spilling onto Parkwood Avenue, the bandstand and the east end of Garfield Parkway.

“There’s fine arts with the fine crafts, so you get a really diverse artwork,” said artist Celeste Kelly. “So, anything you’re interested in, you’re going to find something there. The quality of the work is great.”

“It’s free — that’s the big thing!” Kelly said. “I think a lot of people don’t know … that a lot of places charge.”

That brings in many types of visitors.

“It’s our first time, and I had no clue what it’s like. Anyway, it will be fun to find out,” said artist Elaine Valletta of Appletree Creations, whose family is making a vacation of it.

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral set to bid farewell to summer

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral will be held on Monday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral will be held on Monday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m.The annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is a time-honored Labor Day tradition, but its significance depends on your point of view.

A tongue-in-cheek “celebration” of the end of summer, it was started by local business owner Moss Wagner as a way for businesspeople to blow off steam at the end of the hectic summer season.

For many spectators, it’s a bittersweet goodbye to summer fun — and the traffic that goes with it. Parents standing along the boardwalk with their kids are most likely thinking about last-minute back-to-school preparations while straining to hear the first somber notes of “Amazing Grace.”

By the time the band swings into “When the Saints Go Marching In,” the party mood has set in and spectators have often joined the throng of mourners making its way to the Bethany Beach bandstand.

Art in the yard (yART) hits 10-year milestone in Bethany

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: MERR Director Suzanne Thurman holds a cetacean skull outside the MERR building. The marine-animal rescue organization will be the beneficiary of this year’s yART sale.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: MERR Director Suzanne Thurman holds a cetacean skull outside the MERR building. The marine-animal rescue organization will be the beneficiary of this year’s yART sale.This Labor Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, marks the 10th anniversary of the annual yART sale at 33258 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach. (yART = art in the yard!) There is no “rain date,” so fingers are crossed for fine weather.

The yART sale has become a win-win-win event. Artists win because they are able to display and sell their creations in an intimate and lovely setting, with the only requirement being a donation of one piece of their work.

The community wins by seeing and keeping up with the work of some of the area’s best artists of all media, and potters, jewelers and other artisans. And, most importantly, local non-profit organizations win from being beneficiaries of a “Chinese auction” of the artists’ donations, to the tune of more than $20,000 thus far.

The yART sale takes place in the circular driveway of the home of Julie and Nick Kypreos. The amount of time, effort, planning and generosity they devote to having successful events each year is somehow obscured by the seamless ease, fun and conviviality on the actual days of yART sale. And that includes when a sudden cloudburst erupts and everyone rushes around, focused on protecting theirs and others’ artwork from wind and rain.

“For me, the atmosphere of the event is the best part,’ said Julie Kypreos. “We always have a really great group of artists — some the same and a few different each year — who have forged a unique dynamic amongst themselves and with the public that faithfully returns. Everyone is always excited to see each other’s new pieces and perhaps new directions their art has taken them, and to check out the auction table to see the amazing donations.”

“The second best part is knowing that 100 percent of the money raised is going right back into worthy causes in our local community. I’m really happy that Suzanne Thurman and the MERR Institute is our charity this year.”

The MERR Institute is dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles and their habitat. MERR stands for Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation. This year marks the 15th anniversary of its inception.

Weeklong event celebrates Ellen Rice Gallery’s Bethany Beach grand opening

This Saturday kicks off a weeklong grand-opening celebration of the Ellen Rice Gallery’s move to Bethany Beach after “celebrating American creativity every day for 16 years” in Ocean View.

Jamboree Boys to play Bethany bandstand Saturday

How often do you get to see a state senator jam with his family and friends? Well, this weekend, locals and visitors will be able to enjoy music by the Jamboree Boys, featuring state Sen. Gerald Hocker on bass guitar.

Dumping could close recycling center; neighbors all for it

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park could be taken away because of people abusing it. To Ocean Village residents, that would be a good thing.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park could be taken away because of people abusing it. To Ocean Village residents, that would be a good thing.The Bethany Beach area is already at risk of losing the free recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park, due to the tremendous amounts of non-recyclable garbage that is being dumped there.

“We might have to close the facility if we cannot curtail the illegal dumping that has been going on there,” said Mike Parkowski of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA).

But that would suit nearby residents just fine.

Ocean Village is a private neighborhood located across Coastal Highway from Fresh Pond. For them, the “terrible eyesore” of televisions, furniture, construction debris and once, a toilet, is just the beginning.

Ocean Village opposed the recycling center being there even before people started treating the recycling cans as garbage dumpsters, before the lingering food attracted wildlife, which residents said crosses the highway into their neighborhood.

Fire in North Bethany damages three houses, displaces residents

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Firefighters work on some hot spots still taking place the next day at the North Bethany home gutted by fire on Wednesday, Aug. 12.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Firefighters work on some hot spots still taking place the next day at the North Bethany home gutted by fire on Wednesday, Aug. 12.The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office this week was investigating a fire that occurred in a three-story, wood-framed residence in North Bethany on Aug. 12 and caused heavy damage to that structure and exposure damage to two other residences.

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Harry R. Miller said the fire was noticed about 11:15 p.m. in the 29000 block of Cove Way in Cotton Patch Hills, by neighbors who made contact with the occupants, and both occupants escaped without any injuries.

Firefighters from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company arrived on scene to find heavy fire in the garage, extending into the main residence. The BBVFC, assisted by the Millville, Roxanna, Frankford, and Rehoboth Beach fire companies responded on the initial dispatch.

Deputy fire marshals spent most of the day processing the scene, looking for the fire’s origin and cause. The fire’s origin, Miller said, was determined to be located in the area of the garage, while the cause was still under early this week investigation, with no indication of a suspicious fire at this time.

Fire damages were estimated at $750,000. Victims of the fire were being housed by neighbors early this week.

Officials cut the ribbon to open the new Assawoman Canal Trail

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Gov. Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Gov. Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday joined DNREC Secretary David Small, federal highway officials and community leaders and groups, to cut the ribbon officially opening the new Assawoman Canal Trail. The one-mile trail is part of a regional network of trails, sidewalks and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists, physically linking communities that share a boundary with the trail.

“This trail is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of engaged community members who recognize that this is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Sussex County,” said Markell.

“It was residents in Ocean View, Bethany and South Bethany neighborhoods who saw the value of creating a trail along the Assawoman Canal and worked together with the State to turn their vision into a reality. They share our belief that investments in our trails and pathways support our overall health and wellbeing, while helping to grow our economy.”

In the works for seven years, the trail will directly connect the municipalities of Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, and the communities of Sea Colony and Bahamas Beach Cottages.

A concept plan, developed with a team of local residents, was released in 2011, after public outreach. Project partners included Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, residents in Bahamas Beach Cottages, Sea Colony, Salt Pond and Waterside, and DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

Teen musician takes to iTunes and YouTube

Elliot Rhoads is 17, a summer resident of the Bethany Beach area and a singer/songwriter.

Morris joins Bethany Beach council in electionless 2015

Bethany Beach will not hold town council elections in 2015. With three seats up for election this year, only three candidates filed to run: incumbents Joseph Healy and Chuck Peterson, and resident Jerry Morris, who will fill the seat held by Jerry Dorfman. The seats have two-year terms.

Morris has served on the Town’s Non-Residential Design Review Committee since October of 2014, as the liaison from the Planning Commission.

Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival set for Sept. 12

Coastal Point • File Photo : Last year’s Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival had the boardwalk and Garfield Parkway circle packed with artists and crafters from all over the country.Coastal Point • File Photo : Last year’s Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival had the boardwalk and Garfield Parkway circle packed with artists and crafters from all over the country.The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor ResortQuest Sales/Rentals announced this week that the 37th Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival will be held on Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Held in downtown Bethany Beach, the annual event brings in more than 100 artists to showcase and sell their work with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Bethany Beach. The artists featured bring creations representing a variety of different media, including paintings, photography, woodwork, metalwork, clay, baskets, jewelry and porcelain.

Bethany beach to celebrate Periers Day on July 27

On Monday, July 27, the Town of Bethany Beach will celebrate Périers Day, marking the twinning of the towns of Bethany Beach, Del., and Periers, France.

Dana’s Pantry opens up the cupboard on the Bethany Beach boardwalk

You never know what you’re going to stumble upon at Dana’s Pantry. But to Dana Banks, who also owns The Parkway restaurant right down the block, that’s kind of the point.

ALERT: Beachgoers warned to avoid contact with Portuguese man o’ war

Jellyfish relative can cause painful, potentially fatal stings

Portuguese man o'war

A number of sightings near ocean beaches over the holiday weekend and the subsequent washing ashore of several Portuguese man o’ war this week prompted DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Police to issue a caution statement urging people to avoid the stinging jellyfish relatives that are rare tropical visitors to the Delaware coast.

Fourth of July festivities galore this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.To commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Americans gather together each year to celebrate the country’s independence from Great Britain with family and friends.

In the local community, there is no shortage of celebration — from family barbecues and picnics on the beach, to parades and fireworks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

South Bethany to hold holiday weekend fun

South Bethany is heating up for the holiday weekend, from a boat parade to movie night.

Pedestrian Safety Day comes to South Bethany on Friday, July 3, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety will distribute safety information and demonstrate best practices, to encourage bicycles, motorists and pedestrians to share the street, on the corner of Henlopen Drive and Route 1.