Posts Tagged ‘Rehoboth’

Cape Region Buzz: Politics, restaurants, people

January 11, 2010

Thank God the cold snap is forecast to break this week!

Political watchers are keeping a close eye on Attorney General Beau Biden, waiting for his announcement on whether he will run against Republican Congressman Mike Castle for one of Delaware’s two U.S. Senate seats. The younger Biden is in the spotlight because of the Dr. Earl Bradley case. One of the things he campaigned on when running for the AG’s position was tougher initiatives against child predation including internet child pornography and other crimes related to advancing internet technology.  He could use that to show his grasp of contemporary issues. The tough part though will be working to prosecute Bradley’s crimes while simultaneously investigating the systemic breakdown that allowed those crimes to stay below the surface for so long. And campaign for the U.S. Senate at the same time?  It would be possible to play all the cards simultaneously for the same ultimate goal – winning the election – kind of like a game of hearts when you decide to shoot the moon.  However, doing so will take tremendous mastery and focus. Given Biden’s year-long hiatus on the ground in Iraq and being away from home turf, it’s not hard to imagine his head is reeling at the moment. Meanwhile Mike Castle must be grinning – at least inwardly – at not having to roar full-bent into his campaign yet.  Each day that Biden doesn’t decide is one more day Castle can save his money for the summer and fall campaign ahead.  It’s obviously late for anyone to be launching a Senate campaign.

Much of Castle’s chance of regaining the seat held formerly by Vice President Joe Biden will depend on how hard the winds will be blowing against the Obama administration and Democrats as the Nov. 2 election day approaches.

JD’S FILLING STATION IN LEWES

The great thing about small town life is hearing comments from people up and down the street.  I’ve heard a number of people carping about the bright colors on the new Savannah Road restaurant, JD’s Filling Station, formerly the Blue Plate Diner.  “Lewes has this historical review commission that tells people what kinds of windows to put in their houses,” said one.  “How can they let that restaurant use colors like that?”  Me, I like it.  It makes the town’s historical structures stand out even more. If you don’t know what they’re talking about, ride into Lewes and take a look.

EMPTY STOREFRONTS IN REHOBOTH, LEWES

A Rehoboth Beach businessman told me that a recent count shows an estimated 17 businesses on Rehoboth Avenue haven’t renewed their leases for 2010.  High rents?  Tough economy?  The nature of a highly seasonal seaside resort?

In Lewes, on Second Street, the storefront previously occupied by Walt Palmer’s Mugs and Stitches is now vacant. Palmer, before Christmas, said he may be moving his operation to a Route One location where a family member has another business.  More on that later. A downtown dress shop is considering moving into the former Mugs and Stitches place. At the corner of Second Street and Savannah Road, the linen shop has closed up and an Italian deli is planning to move in.  Other properties fronting Second Street are also in flux.  There’s nothing constant but change.

ECONOMY BEGINNING TO IMPROVE

Many signs indicate the economy has bottomed out and is beginning to improve.  Auto sales are increasing and in our all-important resort real estate market, lower prices, stimulus money and attractive mortgage rates are stirring activity. The developers of the Vineyards at Nassau Valley on Route 9 are nearing completion of their first building, Sussex County’s first 60-foot combination retail and residential building.  Word is that they are about to begin construction of the second building in their retail/residential complex. All of this amounts to money starting to move more and that equates to an improving economy.

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A classic nor’easter swells the dogwoods

April 15, 2009
Nor'-easter-driven seas climb the sands at Rehoboth Beach.

Nor'-easter-driven seas climb the sands at Rehoboth Beach.

A classic nor’easter blew in this week complete with signature winds, heavy seas and lots of sorely needed rain.

The compass told the story.

Our usual weather patterns show winds making their way clockwise around the compass. South winds move to southwest then west, then northwest and so on. But when the winds reverse course, and start shifting counterclockwise, look for a storm with heft. As I write this Wednesday morning, the forecast for 100 percent precipitation is making good and the winds – gusting well above 20 knots – are shooting straight down Lewes’s northeasterly oriented Savannah Road bringing a good washing to the community.

Dogwood blossoms throughout Sussex County are about to blossom. In my mind I can taste the fresh coolness of this storm’s cleansing rain rolling down the windward bark of the dogwoods and feel the swelling blooms about to unfold their white petals.

After two good days of storm, this one should blow out by the weekend.

When the seas settle, I wonder whether any of the head boats will find offshore schools of mackerel moving north. Rain puddles littered with fallen blossoms remind me of flashing schools of fish in the sea.