Bridgeville committee has a politically tricky job; other local news

In this newsletter: The Bridgeville shuffle, a Seaford native wins a Grammy, Jill Biden gets permission to build a bigger fence and more.

Bridgeville committee has a politically tricky job; other local news
Bridgeville's town hall. 

Here's a look at news and events from around southern Delaware this week.

Math means a sitting Bridgeville commissioner will lose a seat (or get a home in Heritage Shores)

The Bridgeville redistricting committee took its first meeting on Tuesday to go over the basics of their task. The work of discussing how to redraw the lines will begin at their next meeting.

With almost all the town’s growth in the last decade coming in Heritage Shores development – and it’s been a considerable amount of growth – that part of town will get two districts instead of one. But there are still only five districts total, which means the other four districts have to merge into three, in effect leaving one sitting commissioner out in the cold. Or to put it another way, there’s no way the committee can do its work without two current commissioners ending up in the same district, where they would have to decide whether to run against each other.

The committee will come up with a recommendation, but commissioners have to approve it.  

It’s not as easy as slicing pie. Bridgeville was originally laid out in an orderly rectangle, but over the years its shape has changed dramatically with additions on different sides, so that now “We’ve got something that looks like jello thrown against the wall,” town solicitor Dennis Schrader said.

The town’s uneven growth to the south will likely continue. Schrader noted that the new apartments and townhomes being added near the Food Lion, plus the onward march of new homes in Heritage Shores, mean redistricting is “going to be really interesting in 10 years.”

Seaford native wins a Grammy

Reggae band SOJA has been nominated for several Grammys. Now they, and band member Trevor Young of Seaford, are Grammy winners. On Sunday, SOJA’s “Beauty in the Silence” was named the best reggae album of the year. Cori Burcham profiled Young and his Seaford roots for the Independent last month.

Kid from Seaford: Trevor Young’s journey to the 2022 Grammys
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More details about new farmers market in Seaford

The volunteers planning a new farmers market in Seaford have settled on June 18 as the start date, and it will run every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. through Aug. 27. Like its predecessor that went out of business a number of years ago, it will be known as the Western Sussex Farmers Market. For this year at least, the site will be the parking lot at the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club at 310 Virginia Ave. The market is now recruiting vendors.

Volunteers will continue meeting on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club to continue figuring out the details, according to Cara Massaro, one of the volunteers. She said in an email that they are accepting vendors selling food, produce, meat and homemade or handmade goods. They also plan on having food trucks and may also add entertainment of some kind.

Plans are underway to bring a farmers market back to Seaford
Shoppers may soon have another place to buy local produce in western Sussex County.

Rehoboth resident Jill Biden gets the taller fence she asked for

Without much fuss, officials on Monday approved a taller fence than usually allowed in Rehoboth Beach for part-time resident Jill Biden and her husband Joe.

The fence had to be made higher to meet Secret Service standards, Harvey Ryan of Turnstone Holdings told the Board of Adjustment. Ryan represented Jill Biden at the hearing; the Bidens have a fairly busy schedule.

Harvey noted they bought the house well before the Secret Service standards became needed, an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s successful campaign for a national political office.

“The applicant has not created any of the conditions that require this variance,” he said.

The local homeowners association had reviewed and approved the request, so it appears the Bidens are still in good standing with their neighbors.

Harrington election canceled after no opponents sign up

I reported last week that 21 municipal elections in Delaware have been canceled already this year because there were no challengers for the seats. Make that 22.

Harrington Vice Mayor Micah Parker and Councilman Robert Farmer will hold onto their seats without an election, as no challengers filed to run against them this year, the city said. Parker represents District 3 on the Council, and Farmer was appointed to the District 1 seat after Joe Gannon stepped down. He’ll now begin a full term in his own right.

Farmer’s district is the part of town on the east side of Route 13. Parker’s district is on the west side of the city.

Lake Forest will hold a candidate forum for school board race

Candidates for the Lake Forest School Board will participate in a virtual forum on Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. You can watch the forum via a Zoom link on the Parent Advisory Council page at the district website. The election is Tuesday, May 10. Two of the three candidates, Betty Wyatt and Dj Silicato, were slated to take part, as of the update at the March 24 board meeting.

The Independent will also feature more information about the candidates before the election.

Free summit on how to deal with traffic deaths

“What we have been doing isn’t working,” James Wilson, executive director of Bike Delaware, said in a statement about the rise of traffic deaths in the state.

Bike Delaware will host an all-day, in-person summit on May 3 in Dover, dealing with the issue. Readers of the Independent will have noted the fatal crashes that are a regular feature in this newsletter most weeks, and those are only the downstate ones. Bike Delaware says traffic deaths reached a 15-year high last year and have only risen this year.

The summit is free, but registration is required.

Money for health care students

A local nonprofit created right around the time the pandemic started aims to support students in the health care field. The Delaware Institute for Healthcare Education Advancement is offering scholarships of $100 to students to help cover needs that traditional scholarships might not, like gas money, fees for background checks, equipment, uniforms, or even coffee.

Abigail Alvarez, one of the board members, recalled that as a student, she appreciated the various grants available but many were limited to textbooks and tuition and students face expenses not covered by those.

“Another part of everyone’s life is socialization, even for students,” she wrote in an email. “Having a bit of extra money that can be used to get coffee with a friend and catch up may not directly contribute to a student’s academic record, but I feel the psychological and emotional benefit are usually under-recognized. Looking back, I think a scholarship like this would have been an encouragement, even though it isn’t a life changing sum.”

Students can apply here.

Railroad crossing work will close roads

Nine Foot Road near Farmington will close at the Delmarva Central Railroad crossing starting Tuesday, April 12 and running through about Friday of that week, the Department of Transportation said. The railroad is doing maintenance work on the crossing. Traffic will detour around on Greenwood Road, and DelDOT said residents will be able to get to their homes but may need to use the detour.

However, part of Greenwood Road will also be closed from Monday to Thursday for the same reason, maintenance work on the Delmarva Central Railroad crossing just north of Greenwood. The detour for that closure will go through town.  

Capture Laurel on canvas for cash

Artists are invited to a plein air painting competition in Laurel in May. (“Plein air” is a fancy way of saying they’ll be painting outside instead of in a studio. It comes from the French word for air, which is “air.”)

It’s an informal painting event in conjunction with the One Laurel, One Day community celebration, according to the Reimagine Laurel partnership’s website.

There will be $800 in cash prizes, and afterward people will be able to buy the paintings.

A similar competition takes place each year in nearby Easton, Maryland, which has been hosting its plein air event for nearly 20 years.

Bridgeville residents may want to cut their grass this summer

The town of Bridgeville noted in its latest newsletter that it had not pursued some code enforcement during the pandemic, but is starting to work on catching up again. That includes issues like grass height, trash, home maintenance, junk cars and fence repairs.

Adding an egg hunt to last week’s list

Seaford Parks and Recreation will hold its annual Easter egg hunt at the Jay’s Nest Football Fields on Saturday, April 9. Toddlers to age 4 begin at 9 a.m. Ages 5-9 begin at 10 a.m. People should bring their own basket. The Easter bunny will allegedly make an appearance. Call 302-629-6809 for more info.

'Legally Blonde' comes to the stage at Woodbridge

The Woodbridge High School Theatre Company, which insists on the British spelling of the word theater, will perform a musical version of “Legally Blonde” on April 29 and 30 at the high school. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, children and military members. Preorder for a discount online.

Legally Blonde was originally a book, I discovered from the event poster, and the musical is based on that and the movie. The book is based on a true story, although by the time you have a musical based on a movie based on a book based on a true story, it’s possible a few details have been altered here and there.

Dish of the week

By Edgar Diaz

Photo by Edgar Diaz

Here's how to make bougie restaurant-style ramen from a 25-cent ramen packet and six simple ingredients.

We'll use:

  • Ramen
  • Chicken broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger, and
  • Green onion

to make a soup base, aromatic oil, seasoning sauce, and toppings.

______________

Components

2 packets Maruchan chicken flavor ramen, or similar

1: Soup base  

  • 4c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 7g/0.25oz ginger, sliced into 1/8" coins (about six 1/8" pieces)
  • Any leftover onion trimmings from below steps (optional)

Place ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, and simmer 15-20 minutes. You can remove the ginger, onion, and garlic at this point, if desired.

2: Aromatic oil plus crispy bits

  • 2oz canola oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, fine diced
  • 3g/0.11oz ginger, sliced (about three 1/8" pieces)
  • Whites of 1-2 green onions, sliced thin (~10g/0.35oz, sliced 1mm or 1/16")

Place ingredients in a shallow pan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned. Strain the oil into a heat-proof container. Place crispy bits onto a paper towel to cool. Remove and throw away the ginger coins.

3: Seasoning sauce

  • 2 ramen seasoning packets
  • 100g/4oz soy sauce
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, smashed (~7g/0.25oz)
  • 3g/0.11oz ginger, sliced (about three 1/8" pieces)

Place ingredients in a shallow pan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the ramen seasoning is incorporated into the soy sauce. Strain into a heat proof container.

4: Toppings

Tops from 1-2 green onions, sliced thin.

______________

Assembly (serves 4)

Boil 2 packs of ramen noodles in water, according to package directions, until cooked.

Remove noodles from water, and place into four bowls.

Pour 1 cup of your chicken broth soup base over the noodles.

Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon aromatic oil (or more or less of both, to taste). Top with sliced green onions and crispy bits.

Enjoy!

Follow Edgar Diaz on Instagram @diptoe

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