Town staff working to reconstruct steps at nine dune crossings
With DNREC’s work on the town’s storm-battered beaches complete, Bethany Beach officials said Town staff have been working to reconstruct steps at nine dune crossing locations in recent weeks, but handicapped access to the beach will still be limited this summer, due to the damage caused by nor’easters over the winter and spring.
The Town of Bethany Beach is teaming up with the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company to offer a special day of awareness on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade Committee is in the process of planning its 33rd annual event and is seeking participants. The event will take place on Monday, July 4.
The 2016 theme is “Celebrate Your Right to Vote.” The committee is looking for businesses and organizations to enter and compete for a variety of prizes.
Many coastal businesses are hiring extra help for the summer season. And, for once, the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company (BBVFC) is among them.
The BBVFC wants to hire part-time firefighters for the warmer months. They’re requesting one paid employee be present 24 hours a day, from May 1 to Sept. 30, using 25 part-time staffers.
The Bethany Beach Town Council on May 12 unanimously approved a settlement in the lawsuit against it by neighbors of the Maryland Avenue Ext. property planned to become the new home to the historic Dinker Cottage.
New home offers ocean views for long-time visitors
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of previews of the 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.)
The owners of this contemporary 4,500-square-foot home had enjoyed vacations in their Ocean City, Md., condo since 1995 but began to search for something quieter as their children grew into adulthood. While biking through Bethany in 2011, they discovered an ocean-view lot and began working with Summer Hill Builders to design a home for their growing family, with an eye toward eventual retirement. Completed in 2015, this home’s six bedrooms and 4.5 baths easily accommodate their four adult children and guests.
A distinctive three-story glass chandelier in the winding staircase serves as a centerpiece that unites all three floors and sets the stage for the artistic use of decorative glass throughout the home.
Although it may be hard to believe, this September, Operation SEAs the Day will be welcoming its fourth installment of warrior families to Bethany Beach.
DelDOT contractor Pennoni Associates Inc. will be inspecting the Charles W. Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet starting April 28. As part of the inspection, there will be short duration closures of the entire bridge in both the northbound and southbound directions, to both motorists and pedestrians, officials announced this week.
On Tuesday, April 19, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee will host a special presentation by Saul Broudy, “Singing Workers: American Occupational Folksong.” The event will take place in Town Hall at 214 Garfield Parkway at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Residents of the Cat Hill section of South Bethany will soon receive surveys regarding possible traffic-calming strategies for the area, which for years has been used as a shortcut from Route 1 to Kent Avenue, leading west from South Bethany.
South Bethany has had trouble stemming the tide. Just as storms battered their protective sand dunes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completely rejected their appeals to downgrade the new flood insurance rate map (FIRM).
Earth Day is a 46-year tradition designed to show Mother Earth some love.
People can plan an eco-friendly project of their own (plant a tree and turn off a light bulb), but local towns and groups are also hosting Earth Day events all month, including the Bethany Beach Nature Center, in Fenwick Island, at the Indian River Life-Saving Station, in Millsboro and in South Bethany.
Local park projects are getting their day in the sun after the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) announced its 2015 grant awards. Across the state, DNREC’s Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails Program is contributing just under $1.29 million to 14 parks and trails projects.
Water Lili brings bohemian style to Bethany boardwalk
It just kind of worked out.
The space for her store of 10 years in Rehoboth Beach was being renovated. There was a divorce that was winding down. And an oceanfront spot right on the Bethany Beach boardwalk had just opened up.
Factor in that her partner — a Bethany legend who goes by the handle “Bodji” — knew the landlord, and that she padded by the spot on her stand-up paddleboard (SUP) every morning anyway, and Lili Oller didn’t have to think twice about opening up her new store, Water Lili, as everything else seemed to fall into place.
“This is the rebirth. This is the new beginning,” said Oller, who had previously owned Tiger Lili in Rehoboth. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’m just gonna dive into this, because I so believe in this.’ This is not work. This is my life.”
An avid SUP-er and ocean advocate, with a worldly travel résumé and off-the-wall passion for fashion, Oller opened up shop last week, aiming to introduce Bethany Beach to her signature — yet always changing — bohemian beach style.
An array of versatile clothing options, ranging from beachwear to casual and evening wear, as well as jewelry, eyewear, handbags, footwear, accessories and vintage T-shirts, flannels and even a few garments without universal classifications, are just a slice of the lifestyle that can be typically found at the newest hotspot on the boards. And, according to some of the locals turned already-loyal Water Lili customers, it’s exactly what the area has been waiting for.
Property owners hoping to keep a historic Bethany Beach cottage out of their back yards have filed a lawsuit against the Town of Bethany Beach, seeking immediate injunctive relief.
Bethany Beach is now officially saving up for a literal rainy day, with the creation and funding by unanimous votes on March 18 of the new Storm Emergency Relief Fund (SERF), which would be used to repair infrastructure damaged in a natural disaster, such as a nor’easter or hurricane (but not to repair the beach itself).
Having heard from the community in recent weeks their positions on both sides of the question of whether to close the “paper street” called Maryland Avenue Extended or the Maryland Avenue Extension as a site for relocation of the historic Dinker Cottage, the Bethany Beach Town Council on March 18 voted 5-0 to make the closure official.
The Summer Concert Series on the Bethany Beach bandstand will once again offer a diverse lineup for 2016. The stage will feature 50 acts designed to entertain audiences of all ages every weekend throughout the summer, officials announced this week.
It’s about a half-inch thick and years in coming (many years, when the larger picture is considered) and, in it, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers an answer to Bethany Beach about its ongoing flooding problems:
There’s not much they could do, and nothing further they plan to do.
The Bunny Palooza 5K/10K is getting under way just in time for Easter, making its way to Bethany Beach this Saturday, March 26.
The charity run will benefit the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation and feature age-group awards for First Place Overall Male and Female, First Place Master’s Male and Female, in addition for first- to third-place age-group awards.
New this year will be the Hocker’s BBQ food truck, presented by the Bank of Ocean City, with the post-race party with Shock Top and Michelob Ultra provided by NKS Distributers.
There will also be live music before and after the race, by D.J. Bump, and local Zumba instructor Kristina Isom will be offering a pre-race warmup.
The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company announced that they are hosting a live-fire drill on Saturday, March 19, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the now-vacant Twin Cedars Apartments, located at 36112 Zion Church Road near Frankford.
This drill has been in the making for at least 5 years and has taken countless hours of coordination between the departments, owner and government agencies.
Bethany Beach Town Council members have been finalizing the Town’s 2017-fiscal-year budget ahead of a possible vote to adopt the budget at their March 18 meeting. (The Town’s 2017 fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends March 31, 2017.) This week, the council heard comments from the public at a hearing on the budget, held jointly with the Budget & Finance Committee on Monday, March 14.
Bethany Beach is running out of space for floodwater to go, said residents who oppose a proposal to fill 1.92 acres of non-tidal forested wetlands for a multi-family residential development.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) last week asked a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official if funds left over from Hurricane Sandy might be diverted to emergency repairs of the beaches and dunes at three of Delaware’s beach towns.
The Bethany Beach Town Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year on Monday, March 14, at 10 a.m. at town hall. The Budget & Finance Committee will then meet on Tuesday, March 15, for any revisions, and the council is scheduled to vote to approve or modify the proposed budget at the Friday, March 18, council meeting.
The good news for organizers of the state’s annual beach grass planting day, set for Saturday, March 19, all along the coast, is that all volunteer slots have been filled for the event. The bad news is that the grass is more important than usual this year, due to a pair of storms that devastated Delaware dunes.
“Delaware’s coastline was ravaged by the January storm that weakened, and in some areas destroyed, dunes and eroded sand from our beaches,” said Jennifer Luoma, environmental scientist for the state Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section.
“The dunes were hit especially hard, and hundreds of volunteers are needed to help stabilize dunes that have been repaired after the coastal storm,” said Luoma, coordinator of the annual beach grass planting event.
The dunes and beaches also suffered damage in an October storm.
Last year, approximately 1,000 environmental enthusiasts, families and students planted 110,000 stems of beach grass along over 3 miles of coastline between Kitts Hummock Beach and Fenwick Island. This year, 150,000 stems of Cape American beach grass will be planted, according to Luoma.
Officials are particularly grateful this year for the corps of volunteer planters who will descend on the beaches, armed with heavy gloves and long sticks, dropping the beach grass plugs into holes about 20 inches apart. The process generally takes a few hours.
The Bethany Beach Police Department went before the Sussex County Board of Adjustment earlier this week, with the hopes of receiving a special-use exception to operate a shooting range on a property it owns in unincorporated Frankford.
In the wake of two storms that heavily damaged dunes and beaches in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island, the potential for funding for shoring up the storm-beaten beaches remains unclear.
Last week, officials announced that there would be no funding this year for replenishment of those beaches in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ working plan for 2016.
Looking for something relaxing to do this Saturday at the beach?
Longtime Bethany Beach bandstand performer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist and Cole Younger Band founder John Pollard will perform throughout the afternoon this Saturday, Feb. 27, in Bethany Beach, at the Ellen Rice Gallery.