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Lewes, Delaware
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April 15, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 15, 2008
 

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CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, April 15 - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 13 CAPE LIFE Musical Kenny Martin tribute at Milton Theatre By Kevin Spence Cape Gazette staff Kenny Martin was devoted to helping preschool children read. At night, he turned his attention to music, bringing together many local entertainers and inspiring others to play. Martin died in 2000, a victim of pancreatic can- cer. To celebrate his life, a dozen local entertainers played jazz horns and belted ballads at the Sing Out Loud for Read Aloud, Friday, April 4, at the Milton Theatre. More than 200 people attended, raising more than $4,000, said Sing Out Loud Chairman Eddie Shockley. All of the proceeds benefit the Sussex County chapter of Read Aloud Delaware, a United Way organiza- tion that encourages reading to preschoolers. Martin disciple Matt Barnes of Lew6s returned to the Cape Region with his wife, Cara Dustmann. Now living in New York City, they sang "Rock-a-Bye Baby" with their troupe, Big Apple Burlesque, wearing 1950s- Continued on page 14 Sherman Ward of'the Eddie Sherman Show croons onstage at the Milton Theatre, Friday, April 4. A dozen local acts played jazz tunes for an audience of about 200, raising more than $4,000 for Read Aloud Delaware. Kevin Spence photos Gathering tickets at the Milton Theatre Friday, April 4, above, are Sing Out Loud committee members (l-r) Sydney Arzt, Ann Gorin, Steve Kremer and Suzy Kremer. At left, The Big Apple Burlesque traveled from New York City to the Cape Region to pay tribute to Keuny Martin, who died in 2000. Member Matt Barnes was born in Lewes. He returned to the Milton Theatre with his wife, Cara Dustmann, who sang neo-vaudeville hits including "Rock-a-Bye Baby." 00alt00vater Portrait Mel Craig: Rehoboth's unsung hero By Ryan Mavity Cape Gazette staff Driving through Rehoboth Beach one of the first things a vis- itor would notice is how clean the place is. The city has the relaxing aroma of sand and saltwater, with the whiff of Thrashers French Fries thrown in for good measure. One reason the city can pro- claim itself "The Nation's Summer Capital" is Mel Craig, Rehoboth's public works director. An Ellicott City, Md. native, Craig oversees a staff of 14 in the winter and 26 in the summer. A tall man with a bulldog face and friendly demeanor, Craig and department are responsible for almost all aspects of Rehoboth's appearance. "Right now, we're doing beach preparations. Cleaning the beach, picking up debris and preparing some areas of the Boardwalk. We also have our normal street clean- ing, trash collection. We're get- MEL CRAIG ring ready for our big two-week trash collection when everybody puts unwanted articles out," he said. Craig and his staff are painting benches, lifeguard stands and trash barrels, power washing side- walks and keeping the Boardwalk clean, all getting ready for the crush of visitors set to come to town this summer. "All in all, the city looks good; I feel it's good. People tell me it looks decent, so that makes me happy. It's a nice place to be. As far as I'm concerned ifs the best place on the coastline," he said. In addition, the department is actively involved in cleaning up the Boardwalk for its upcoming rebuild, set to get under way in November, with the first phase covering the south side from Rehoboth Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue, he said. Craig is entering his 10th year as the public works director and 12th in Rehoboth. Growing up on a farm outside of Baltimore, Craig worked as a tax assessor for the state of Maryland and worked all over the state. "When we stopped farming I got into the Maryland Institute of Banking. "I got involved with that and didn't like banking. I like num- bers and money, but I didn't like standing in one little room, so to speak," he said. "I put in an application with Howard County at that time, got hired .there and traveled the state for just about 30 years." He retired and came to Rehoboth in 1996 but soon grew restless and ended up working in the building and licensing depart- ment. "I was here about six months and I was climbing up the walls, I had to do something, so I applied at city hall and that's where I ended up," Craig said. If keeping the city clean seems like a 24/7 job, it is. "I seldom leave," he joked. "It's seven days a week. But it's kind of nice that they rely on me. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right, I hope." However, Craig clearly takes pride in his work. "It's a fun job. I'll say this: I haven't had a boring day since I've been here. Everyday is differ- ent," he said. Contact Ryan Mavity at ryanm @ capegazette, com.