Thoughts on beach tents, fireworks and nudity
News Journal reporter Jerry Smith reports on the aftermath of Delaware's 4.1 magnitude earthquake. Jason Minto/The News Journal
Town of Dewey Beach Mayor T.J. Redefer talks about the future of Dewey Beach growth.
Indian River School district parents came out in protest at the Indian River Board of Education meeting on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. Produced by Megan Raymond
Kimberlee Cullen acquired an allergy to red meat from the bite of a lone star tick — named for the single white spot it displays on its back. Wochit video by Keith Demko
Barbara “Bobbi” McClay felt like she had no other choice when she went in front of the Sussex County Board of Adjustment in October to ask permission to rent rooms in her Lewes home through Airbnb. Now, she may be the first person in Delaware specifically prohibited from renting through the online home rental site. Wochit
The owners of Gary's Dewey Beach Grill have started a brewery called 38°-75° Brewing. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Zack King and Marissa Cordell have been planning and working to open the easySpeak Distillery & Brewpub in Milford for a year now. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
After 22 years the original Dogfish Head brew pub is being torn down to make way for a new courtyard that will have an outdoor dining section and the back half will house the brewery and distillery for collaborations and brewpub exclusives. Produced by Megan Raymond
Delaware has received an "A plus" rating and has been ranked the second best state in the 2017 Small Business Friendliness Survey by Thumbtack, a web and phone application for small businesses. Wochit
Dogfish Head and RAR Brewing founders explain why craft breweries work together. Produced by Ryan Marshall and Megan Raymond
Allen Harim broke ground on Wednesday beginning the construction phase of a new $22 million state-of-the-art hatchery on Delmarva. Produced by Megan Raymond
Walter Fenstermacher, Brandywine Valley SPCA, speaks about the 3 of the 31 dogs that were rescued from a Seaford home who are ready for adoption.
The new Rehoboth Beach City Hall was built on land lacking a clear deed. The city is asking the courts to give them a clean and clear title to the land. Wochit
Dune protection a concern for beach mayors in Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Sussex Tech's Virginia Forcucci named Delaware's 2018 Teacher of the Year. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Eighteen inmates were indicted in the February takeover of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna that resulted in the death of Lt. Steven Floyd. Daniel Sato/The News Journal
100 varieties of jerky available, including exotic meats such as kangaroo and elk in addition to gourmet snacks, popcorn, nuts, spices, sauces and rubs available.
Gov. John Carney toured Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and took a Cape Water Taxi ECO Tour of the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal. Megan Raymond video
Dollar stores are popping up on street corners across Delmarva, swimming against the retail sector's falling tide. Video by Jeremy Cox
18 dogs who rode out Hurricane Irma in shelters have been flown into Delaware today to assist in being adopted by the Brandywine Valley SPCA. Produced by Megan Raymond
John Donato paints murals with children that focus on subjects such as bully prevention, character building or anything else they are trying to instill into the children and staff. Produced by Megan Raymond
Godwin's School, a one-room schoolhouse closed in 1936, has been the focus of an extended restoration effort by the Millsboro Historical Society since 1988. Produced by Megan Raymond
Nearly 17,000 plants take form at Delaware Botanic Gardens Produced by Megan Raymond
The Sussex County Republican Committee holds a rally in support of President Donald J. Trump. Produced by Megan Raymond
Tom Draper, the owner of WBOC, has died following a car accident. Wochit
A group of local volunteers has banned together to raise public awareness and help clean up the main tributary of Little Assawoman Bay. The Dirickson Creek Team is made up of residents who live along the creek, who love to boat and kayak there, but recognize that it's just not safe anymore. Wochit
Big Oyster Brewery's expansion in Lewes will increase production by 2,500 barrels Produced by Megan Raymond
University of Delaware freshmen involved in the Community Engagement Scholars Program help make their community a better place. Produced by Megan Raymond
Delaware's Jim Jannuzzio started a textbook concierge app last year called BookBandit. Over the last year, BookBandit's download totals have tripled and the business was selected by Google to participate in an invitation-only program. Wochit
Kathy and Leslie Megyeri have been coming to Bethany Beach for over 50 years. Produced by Megan Raymond
View of the partial solar eclipse from Brandywine Creek State Park Damian Giletto/The News Journal
Learn a bit of history of the the tower's along the Delaware Coast. Produced by Megan Raymond
Paul Kuhns will become Rehoboth Beach's first new mayor since 1990. Video by Keith Demko
Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding held its semi-finals on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Dewey Beach, Del. Produced by Megan Raymond
Resident Bob Lowe discusses the headaches that new development and more traffic has caused along Route 54 Produced by Megan Raymond
Tommy Gibson can't see. The massage therapist based in Sussex County has been blind since the turn of the century. But Gibson uses his other senses to their highest degrees, and has been working as a massage therapist since 2002. Wochit
Local doo wop radio station takes listeners back in time. Produced by Megan Raymond
The beach season has been calm so far for lifeguards, but they know the worst is yet to come. Wochit
Towns put on free events at the beach almost daily. Why do they do this? Produced by Gray Hughes
Vineyard Wine Bar and Bistro is providing an upscale food and wine experience at the beach. Wochit
Ocean View Police Department hosted "Officer for a Day" a program working with 311 Tactical, LLC. designed to allow citizens to experience policing from an officer's perspective. Produced by Megan Raymond
Rosemary Connelly speak about learning to draw and sketch and tips to stick with it.
Chef Chris Parks has elevated the cuisine at Lupo in Rehoboth over the last few years. Produced by Jeff Neiburg
New complaints were filed this week on behalf of several former town employees and one businesswoman against Dewey Beach Town Manager Marc Appelbaum, including allegations of sexual harassment and unprofessionalism. Wochit
On the Millsboro municipal website, a message is displayed front and center about the town's new vision: "Explosive Growth. Retailers Wanted. Families & Employers Welcome." It's part of a plan that focuses on attracting businesses to boost the quiet little town's economy. Produced by Gray Hughes
State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn missed his flight Thursday after TSA found his handgun in his carry-on. Wochit
Some members of the General Assembly want to create a task force that would figure out how much money Delaware could save if it reduced the number of school districts. Wochit
Farming irrigation system damage on Donnie Calhoun's farm east of Greenwood. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Security camera footage of possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative Monday. Delaware Electric Cooperative
KK Kan Kare makes sure Rehoboth Beach residents do not run afoul of the city's trash ordinance.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, along with members of the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute and members of Sea Turtle Recovery rescue a loggerhead turtle approximately 3-miles east of Cape Henlopen near Lewes. Coast Guard video
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the longest-serving Delaware senator, and his wife, Jill, fulfilled a longtime dream by purchasing a vacation home at the Delaware seashore. Video by Keith Demko
SoDel's Scott Kammerer at the newest Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar Produced by Megan Raymond
A Dagsboro police officer was forced to kill a rescued stray pit bull Tuesday when it could not be made to stop attacking an officer from Delaware Animal Services, police said. Produced by Doug Ferrar
Marty Lamper, Concerned Resident of White Creek speaks about the proposed watercraft slips and a boat ramp Produced by Megan Raymond
Delaware Governor John Carney talks about his plan for prison reform in Delaware at a press conference at Legislative Hall. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
Wilmington police investigate a shooting on Sixth Street that injured a 6-year-old boy on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Adam Duvernay and Daniel Sato/The News Journal
Margaret Guy, Outreach Minster for Stop the Violence Prayer Chain, reacts to the city's most recent shooting, which happened near her outreach ministry. Adam Duvernay/The News Journal
View of the new Resilient Tunnel Plug built by ILC Dover. The Resilient Tunnel Plug is capable of blocking tunnels during terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
A 17-year-old girl will not serve prison time for last year's fatal attack of Howard High School of Technology sophomore Amy Inita Joyner-Francis. 6/5/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal
- Delaware anglers survive 'mega' quake
- WATCH: Town of Dewey Beach Mayor T.J. Redefer talks about the future
- WATCH: Anti-discrimination proposal draws protest
- WATCH: Lone star ticks cause intense allergy to red meat
- WATCH: Airbnb debate: Sussex prohibits widow from renting her home
- Second brewery set to open in Dewey Beach
- New distillery brewpub soon to open in Milford
- WATCH: Original Dogfish Head brew pub gets demolished
- Delaware receives small business accolades
- Watch: Why Dogfish Head and RAR Brewing collaborate on beers
- WATCH: Allen Harim $22 million hatchery groundbreaking in Dagsboro
- WATCH: 3 dogs ready for adoption from animal cruelty case
- Rehoboth seeks clear title to City Hall land
- Dune protection a concern for beach mayors
- Sussex Tech teacher named Delaware Teacher of the Year
- 18 indicted in Delaware prison takeover
- WATCH: Beef jerky Outlet store opening in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Gov. Carney takes ECO Tour on Lewes/Rehoboth Canal
- WATCH: Why dollar stores are sweeping across Delmarva
- WATCH: Hurricane Irma shelter dogs flown into New Castle Airport
- WATCH: Local Artist works with schools and organizations to paint murals to help educate
- WATCH: A 29-year restoration project celebrates historic Millsboro one-room school
- WATCH: Planting has begun at the new Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek
- WATCH: 'Support Our President' rally in Georgetown, Del.
- WBOC owner Thomas Draper dies
- WATCH: Volunteers help clean up Dirickson Creek
- WATCH: Big Oyster Brewery to open in Lewes
- WATCH: Students 'Rock the Block' in Millsboro
- UD student's textbook app taking off
- WATCH: Vacationing in South Bethany Beach for 50 years
- Watch the eclipse make its way across Brandywine Creek State Park
- WATCH: History of Dewey Beach Tower 3
- WATCH: Tough issues face next Rehoboth mayor
- WATCH: Zap Pro/Am World Championships of Skimboarding semi-finals
- WATCH: Route 54 traffic headaches have no clear solution
- WATCH: Blind massage therapist uses sixth sense to help clients
- WATCH: Local Radio station takes listeners back in time
- WATCH: Lifeguards have had calm season
- WATCH: Free events at the beach add extra value
- WATCH: A new wine experience in Rehoboth
- WATCH: Ocean View Police Department "Officer for a Day"
- WATCH: Rosemary Connelly speaks about learning to draw and sketch
- WATCH: Chef Chris Parks shining at Lupo in Rehoboth
- WATCH: New complaints of sexual misconduct vs. Dewey town manager
- Millsboro says plan to draw business, residents is working
- State Senator misses flight when gun found in carry-on
- Lawmakers consider fewer Delaware school districts
- Irrigation system turned over during storm in Greenwood
- Possible tornado damage at Delaware Electric Cooperative
- Meet Rehoboth Beach's trash valet company
- Watch: Coast Guard rescues loggerhead turtle off Lewes coast
- WATCH: Bidens purchase vacation home in Rehoboth area
- WATCH: SoDel's Bluecoast Seafood Grill open in Rehoboth
- Watch: Police shoot dog during attack on animal control officer
- WATCH: Residents, developer argue over White Creek usage in Ocean View
- Governor talks plan for prison reform
- Wilmington police investigate shooting on 6th Street
- Wilmington shooting: "This stuff is nonsense"
- ILC Dover develops big plug with an even bigger job
- Trinity Carr sentenced to six months in death of Joyner-Francis
I like to think of the coastal region as a place of peace and serenity during the summer months. Days are spent relaxing on the beach and nights consist of dining al fresco either at home or at local restaurants, with a libation or two before, during, and/or after the meal.
While worthy of an occasional text, the modern-day equivalent of a penny postcard, sent to friends and relatives, the daily events that comprise this summer lifestyle are hardly what one would call “newsworthy.”
Therefore, imagine my surprise to see in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, of all places, an article titled “Beach Patrol Draws a Line in the Sand: No More Tents,” and discovering that the patrol in question is the one assigned to Rehoboth Beach.
It seems that large canopy tents, often strung together, were causing problems of public safety and aesthetics.
In addition to blocking the view of lifeguards, these opaque canvas coverings were supposedly housing such beach amenities as changing rooms, gas grills and portable toilets. There even was suspicion of clandestine alcohol consumption.
The only thing of which these beach campers were not accused was having their mail forwarded to their tents.
In response, the Rehoboth Beach Commissioners passed an ordinance limiting the size, height and proximity of those tents. Since then, unsuspecting vacationers arriving on the beach with their oversized tents have fueled one of the largest and longest running tent sales in the history of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Unfortunately, things have been no more serene to the north at Lewes beach. There, after years of benign neglect, the state fire marshal suddenly decided to enforce the prohibition against private citizens setting off fireworks.
Over the years, the Fourth of July pyrotechnic display on the beach had grown in popularity to the point where the Snack Shack stayed open for the evening festivities and people were willingly paying $10 to leave their cars in the parking lots of businesses located across the street from the beach.
Employing techniques that might be described as marshal law (not to be confused with martial law), the fire marshal, in collusion with the newly vigilant (not to be confused with vigilante) city government, placed large digital warning signs on the roads, made known that fireworks would be confiscated, and, on the night in question, strategically placed patrol cars outside the beach parking areas to “educate” those entering.
Curiously, DelDOT chose this time to erect an oversized 75-foot high camera pole at the foot of the canal bridge on Savannah Road, the most direct route to the beach.
Ostensibly, the camera was intended to monitor traffic and flooding conditions.
One doesn’t have to be employed by the CIA to realize that this eye in the sky was also capable of observing Lewes beach and any fireworks thereon.
I’m not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but even I find something troubling in the fact that by July 14, a mere 10 days after the Fourth, a spokesperson for DelDOT announced that the pole would be coming down. Coincidence? I think not.
For better or worse, these measures succeeded, only a few fireworks were launched, a “handful” confiscated, and the summer night sky remained relatively undisturbed, although it lacked the patriotic color of recent years.
Further south, the residents of Ocean City, Maryland, were dealing with their own contretemps.
Noting that the state’s constitution declares that the law “cannot give preferential treatment on the basis of sex or gender,” a forward-looking Eastern Shore woman requested that she be allowed to sunbathe and cavort topless on the beach, just like her male counterparts.
The reaction from the good people of Ocean City was swift and decisive, resulting in a City Council ordinance banning nudity on the beach. The beach patrol issued a detailed policy regarding the handling of scofflaws.
Part of that policy recommended requesting police assistance “if at any time the situation appears to become physical.”
Consider this a cautionary tale. While Ocean City may be beyond this paper's circulation area, it is a mere stone’s throw (or a bikini bra toss) from Fenwick Island.
Mike Berger is a freelance writer and retired university administrator with a home in Lewes. Contact him at email@example.com.