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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998

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12 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, April 10 - April 16, 1998 Rehoboth Main Street continues efforts in wake of director's resignation By Trish Vernon Rehoboth Beach Main Street Program Director Anne Marie Bumell has resigned her position, effective April 24, having served as the first director for the fledg- ling program since the summer of 1996. Bumell will be taking a position as executive assistant for Harvard Business Services Inc., of Lewes, which helps companies around the world incorporate in Delaware. "When we first started up our Main Street program we were told this would happen," said Main Street .President Kathy McGui- ness, as there is typically a high rate of turnover in program direc- tors. After a couple of years they often move to another Main Street program or out into the public sec- tor. "A lot of Main Street pro- grams in Delaware haven't had a single director get them to the point at which we are now," she noted. "Anne Marie's an organization- al manager and she's been won- derful - outgoing and friendly and we've been lucky to have had her up to this point. Now we need to look at where our program stands in terms of our downtown revital- ization efforts and organization- wise, and find someone who is right for the position," McGuiness said. Rehoboth Beach Main Street has begun advertising locally and statewide for r6sum6s to fill the full-time position with a starting salary of $24,000 and benefits package. (The deadline for appli- cations is April 20; r6sum6s may be sent to P.O. Box 50, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971.) McGuiness said that although Bumell only tendered her resigna- tion on April 7, she. has already re- ceived a number of inquiries from interested applicants. The new program director will be concentrating not only on the revitalization efforts, which are in the preliminary planning stages, but also on the second annual July Fourth weekend fireworks display off the beach in Rehoboth, which was almost canceled at the 1 lth hour last year, as restless crowds jammed the resort. Prepare for '98 fireworks According to McGuiness, Main Street and city officials met with U.S. Coast Guard representatives and fireworks company officials earlier this week, one of many meetings to come before the Sun- day, July 5 extravaganza. Main Street is requesting dona- tions from area merchants, as it did last year, in raising the esti- mated $30,000 needed to fund the fireworks display. With approxi- mately $6,000 left over from last year's efforts, and having raised more than $9,000, they are $15,000 short of their goal. Late last year, the Coast Guard issued an inch-thick report on the investigation into the delay in the Rehoboth Beach fireworks dis- play off the beach on the evening of Sunday, July 6, citing both the owner of the tugboat and its cap- tain for various violations. Almost-fiasco revisited Investigating officers Lt. Mark Hindle and Lt. Keith Pelletier rec- ommended that Big Daddy Tug- boat Company, owned by Harry Hays of Chester, Pa., be fined $10,500 for knowingly operating a vessel - the Grape Ape - without a load line, without a properly li- censed operator and violating work hour regulations. The tugboat captain, Ethridge L. Willets Jr., pleaded no contest to charges of misconduct and viola- tion of law, and was ordered a one-month suspension of his li- cense, followed by an additional three months suspension remitted on 12 months of probation. He on- ly had a master's license to oper- ate in inland waters, not the ocean. The July 6 incident evolved from an anonymous phone call to the Philadelphia Coast Guard Sta- tion before 6 p.m. that evening. The caller, whose identity re- mained undisclosed in the Coast Guard's report on the investiga- tion, stated that the Grape Ape was in violation of a number of laws and regulations. Shortly thereafter, a call was placed to Roosevelt Inlet Coast Guard Station commander Lt. Russell Proctor at his Dover home by the Group Philadelphia com- mand duty officer, requesting his duty team conduct an initial inves- tigation aboard the vessel. Proctor was directed to ascer- tain the Grape Ape's "manning complement, licensing of person- nel, compliance with applicable loadline requirements and general safety precautions, particularly with regard to adequate flrefight- ing protection aboard the fire- works barge." He was further ad- vised that if deficiencies were not- ed, to consider terminating the voyage and prohibiting the fire- works display, which was sched- uled for 9:30 p.m. Upon boarding the barge and vessel for investigation as it sat off Rehoboth Beach just prior to the beginning of the show, Proctor determined they .were in violation and ordered them back inside the Delaware Bay. As the vessel began to pull out of sight, Rehoboth Beach and fire company officials frantically be- gan calling the Coast Guard com- mander in Philadelphia. At 10:15 p.m., they persuaded him that the show must go on and that all safety precautions had been taken. By the time the tug returned at 10:55 p.m., many fire- works watchers had already left their vantage points in disappoint- ment. This year, Main Street and Re- hoboth Beach officials are taking every precaution and keeping every line of communication open to ensure there won't be a replay of 1997. The Rehoboth Beach Main Street Board of Directors held its annual social meeting on April 8, when incoming board members were introduced and many were honored for their work over the past year. Those gathered are (back row, l-r) Jim Barr, outgoing director;, Richard Darley, historic preservation committee director; President Kathy McGuiness; and Jennifer Zerby, director. In front are Fran Grossi, design committee director, Committee Person of the Year;, Program Director Anne Marie Burnell, who resigned her position; Vice President Bill Richardson; outgoing director Alan Garey; and incoming director Gary Trosclair. Other new directors, Clinton Bunting and Thomas Ibach (whose wife delivered triplets last week), join board members Robert Derrickson and Dominic Pulieri, not shown, and Treasurer Bettye Gallo. 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