Hilly and her huskies, trail problems, and storm damage

Hilly Burton Stevens settles into a dog sled last weekend to help raise funds for the Southern Delaware Kidney Walk. PHOTOS BY LUKE BURTON
April 19, 2013

When 90-year-old Hilly Burton Stevens saw the chance to ride through the Southern Delaware Kidney Walk at Cape Henlopen State Park last weekend in a modified dog sled, she didn’t hesitate. She climbed into a comfortable chair mounted on the sled, eagerly accepted the warm blankets offered for her lap, and smiled as the team of husky dogs mushed her along the course.

Hilly receives dialysis treatments every other day for four hours to filter her blood, and she worked for decades as a nurse in Beebe Medical Center. She knows all about kidney problems and was happy to participate in an event designed to raise awareness and funds for kidney disease research and treatment.

Hilly is the oldest living graduate of Beebe School of Nursing.

J&B Trail extension lawsuit

It’s disappointing that a lawsuit will delay construction of the sorely needed extension of the Junction and Breakwater Trail at the Lewes end. Disappointing, but not entirely surprising. Trail construction often encounters such hurdles. What’s troublesome is that DelDOT apparently wasn’t aware of potential easement problems before it started plotting the course and spending engineering dollars for the trail extension along the northern boundary of the Breakwater community. The best outcome for this would be for DelDOT to negotiate with the concerned homeowners for installation of buffers along the proposed trail alignment rather than spending a bunch of money in court for an uncertain outcome.

The trail extension would do a lot to relieve some of the safety problems between the end of the trail at the entrance to the Hawkseye community and the section of Gills Neck Road used by cyclists and motorists making their way into Lewes.

Until the issue is resolved and an extension is constructed, cyclists and motorists will need to share the road courteously and continue to exercise caution.

Storm winds damage turbine

University of Delaware’s wind turbine in Lewes continues to teach lessons. According to Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, the nor’easter in early March that shut down the Indian River Inlet bridge also shut down the turbine. Targett said the storm’s winds, which rivaled the intensity of Hurricane Sandy, shook loose some boxes measuring vibration on the turbine and ended up damaging one of the blades. Targett said it was a minor problem, but since it occurred during the windy month, technicians who had to rappel down the outside of the turbine to make repairs had to wait weeks for the wind to settle enough for them to work safely.

The turbine is up and running again, generating electricity for the campus.

Speaking of trails

The free 2013 edition of Great Walks and Trails in Sussex County, published by Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club and Sussex Outdoors, is now available at local chamber of commerce and visitor center offices, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal, the Cape Gazette office and many real estate offices. The guide includes descriptions of nearly two dozen trails and public outdoor spaces all across Sussex County. It’s part of initiatives by the Rotary Club and the Sussex Outdoors organization to encourage people of all ages to take advantage of Sussex County’s many outdoors opportunities. People who spend time outside find themselves being more active and more healthy.

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