Sussex County Delaware
Landmark 'Totem Pole'
Returning to Bethany
Sussex Beat, July 8, 2002

NOTE: Sussex Beat is a log of news briefs and commentary by Kerin Magill, editor of Sussex County Online, with contributions from Sussex County Online users.


Kerin Magill, Sussex County Online

SC Online

Bethany Beach Landmark Soon to Return

For the past two years, anyone giving directions to Bethany Beach was faced with a major handicap -- they couldn't say "turn left (or right) at the totem pole." Countless businesses had to change their advertisements and the entrance to town didn't quite seem complete.

First, the town's water tower was taken down to make room for the new town hall. Now, there was no "totem pole" for the kids to spot -- no landmark that says "we're here!"

The "totem pole," Bethany Beach's Whispering Giant" statue, was removed because of severe rot inside the sculpture. That sculpture, carved by Dennis Beach in 1994, was not the original Whispering Giant. The first sculpture was given to the town in 1976 by Peter "Wolf" Toth,who carved one such statue for each state in honor of the nation's Native Americans. The original Toth statue carved for Maryland still stands at the Ocean City Inlet.

Toth was commissioned by the town of Bethany Beach to carve the Whispering Giant III, which is scheduled to arrive in town in the next two to three days, according to Bethany Beach Town Manager Clifford Graviet. Assuming all goes well with the totem's trip from Toth's Edgewater, Fla. home, a dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 15.

The new statue has been carved from an Alaskan red cedar log that was between 23 feet and 24 feet tall, Graviet said. That should give the kids something to look for.

Hearing July 9 on Route 54 Project

Sussex County Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m. on two related projects west of Fenwick Island on Route 54.

Developers are proposing a shopping center and a 372-home development on 120 acres north of Route 54 near the intersection with Sussex Road 381 (Old Mill Bridge Road).

Trout, Segall & Doyle Development Co. have applied for zoning change from agricultural-residential to neighborhood business for 10.3 acres. The shopping center would include a 55,256 sq. ft. Safeway grocery store and 8,000 square feet of retail space, plus 3 pad sites.

The proposed site has been owned by the Swann family since 1947; the developers are seeking a zoning change from agricultural-residential to medium residential/residential planned community. A density of 3.4 homes per acre is proposed.

Still plenty of spots open on state, county ballots

With less than three weeks to go before the filing deadline, there are still plenty of races for state and county offices in which only one candidate has filed.

In the 20th Senatorial District, Albert F. Gargano Jr., D-Millsboro, filed June 21st, but incumbent Sen. George H. Bunting Jr., D-Bethany Beach has yet to throw his hat in the ring. No one from other parties has filed for that seat.

Sen. Robert L. Venables Sr. of Laurel is so far the only candidate for the 21st District seat he now holds.

Another incumbent, 35th District Rep. J. Benjamin Ewing, R-Bridgeville, is the lone candidate for that seat. In the 38th District, Shirley Price, D-Millville, is still unopposed for that seat; and in the 40th District, Clifford G. "Biff" Lee, R-Laurel, is as yet unopposed.

For Sussex County Council, George B. Cole, R-Cedar Neck, remains unopposed in his bid for re-election in District 4. Marshall D. Craft Sr. of Georgetown remains the only candidate for Sussex County Sheriff.

In row offices, D. Ray Ellerman, R-Bridgeville, remains the sole candidate for Clerk of the Peace.

The filing deadline for county offices, for General Assembly seats and for state offices is noon on Friday, July 26. Primaries are scheduled for Sept. 7 and the general election for Nov. 5.

Aug. 17 is the last day to register to vote in the primary; Oct. 15 is the registration deadline for voting in the general election.

41st District Democratic Caucus July 24

All registered Democrats in the 41st Representative District are invited to attend a caucus at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 at the Bonanza restaurant in Millsboro. You must be a registered Democrat for the previous year to participate.

Caucus members will elect committee people for election district vacancies. The caucus is being organized by the existing committee in the 41st Representative District, which includes most of the Millsboro, Dagsboro, Frankford, Gumboro and Long Neck areas.

For information on registration, or on which district you reside in, call the Department of Election at 856-5367. For more information about this caucus, call Don Ward at 934-9636.

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