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Lewes, Delaware
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December 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 26, 1997

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Delaware's Cape Region Friday, December 26 - Thursday, January 1, 1998 Volume 5, NO. 31 State seeks permit to remove Tracy remains Wreck survey finds Merrimac underneath of more historic value By Dennis Forney Following receipt of an archeological survey, state officials have decided to seek a permit to remove the remains of the "The survey completed this fall found that only two to three percent of the original vessel - just a small part of the bottom of the stern - remains," said Tony Pratt of Delaware's Division of Soil and Water Conservation. "What's visible on low tide is the shaft and propeller and two rudder posts. The propeller is the real, legitimate, everyday threat to someone who might ignore the signs in the area and get swept up on it. However whether the beach could be Thomas Tracy from in front of the Star of. reopened [if the remains are removed] the Sea condominum building in Rehoboth would be up to the city and its legal coun- Beach. sel." Slam Dunk 8 kicks off at Cape Little Big House By Dennis Forney When the buzzer sounded in Cape Henlopen High School on Friday, Dec. 19, signaling the start of the holiday vacation, Bob Jacobs shift- ed into high gear for the opening buzzer of the eighth annual Slam DunkTo The Beach bas- ketball tournament. "When the students left, I was in," said Jacobs. "We started setting up right away." The tournament started at 8:30 a.m. this morning [Friday, Dec. 26], with the opening game featuring Cape Henlopen vs. Milford, and will conclude at 9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 30, when the Slam Dunk championship game will tip off. In between the opening tipoff and con- eluding buzzer will be 39 basketball games played by 38 teams from as far away as Cali- fornia and as nearby as Delaware. Jacobs expects more than 43,000 spectators to attend this year's tournament. But if you think Slam Dunk To The Beach is just a high school basketball tournament, think again. "It's an event - a big event," said Jacobs. Continued on page 13 Pratt said paperwork will be drawn up soon to get a permit from the state office of historic preservation for removal of the Tracy's remains. The archeological survey completed in the late fall of this year concluded that most of the Tracy had been removed by salvagers and that there was abundant information available about the class of vessels repre- sented by the Tracy. "The Thomas Tracy," according to the report's abstract, "is assessed as not being eligible for nomination to the National Reg- ister of Historic Places because its vessel class is well documented and archeological excavation and recordation of the remain- ing parts are unlikely to provide informa- tion about the vessel that is not available from the historic record. In addition, the Tracy's integrity was severelycompro- mised by the 1944-1945 salvage of the wreck which physically removed all but a portion of the vessel's lower hull and parts of its engine machinery. That salvage work removed virtually everything that could be expected to provide archeological informa- tion on the Tracy." Continued on page 16 Kerry Kester photo Everyone can celebrate! Christmas has finally arrived McKinnon deKuyper, 3, the daughter of Scott and Don- Thursday, Dec. 18, during Irish Eyes at Anglers' annual na deKuyper of Lewes, pays a visit to Santa Claus on family night holiday celebration. Delaware to purchase sea lettuce harvester $150,000 allocated to clean Inland Bays By Michael Short Delaware will continue to harvest a new crop next year. That's because $150,000 has been set aside in state funding to buy a harvester for sea lettuce in Delaware's inland bays. At the urging of Rep. John Schroeder (D- Lewes) the state will cough up the money this year to purchase the equipment. Last year, the seaweed was harvested or skimmed up in an effort to clean up the inland bays. Sea lettuce blooms create large amounts of the naturally occuring seaweed, which tend to rot, die, rob the water of needed oxygen and smell to high heaven. Last year, Delaware leased a harvester to clean up the seaweed, skimming a total of 185 tons of the material by mid-July. At that point, the state stopped for several rea- sons, including worries about the potential bycatch of shrimp, fish, tiny crabs etc. John Hughes, the director of Delaware's Division of Soft and Water Conservation, said that Delaware wanted to evaluate the first year, to see what worked and what didn't work and whether or not the program should continue. Last week, Hughes confirmed that money has been allocated to purchase the sea let- tuce harvester. He said that harvesting will continue this year, but that it is expected to be in lesser quanities because this is still considered a learning process. "We intend to harvest, but under the strictest control," Hughes said "I will be very surprised if we equal the harvest of last year." "We definitely have to fine tune our oper- Continued on page 12