Crops leaping, construction cranking, houses selling - summer’s booming

August 16, 2013

After being out of Sussex County for the past three months, it’s time to get back into the groove. Fortunately, in a county this big, friendly and dynamic, it doesn’t take long.

In just a couple of days of cruising around and talking to folks, a few observations:

• The corn and soybean crops look as strong as they’ve ever looked. So far in August, we’ve had almost six inches of rain, which is triple the usual amount for this point in August. And, at more than 39 inches of rain so far for the year, we’re 11 inches ahead of normal. Lots of fingers crossed now. We don’t want so much rain that we can’t get the corn and beans out of the fields.

Kenny Hopkins tells me he sees lots of cornfields with double ears on the stalks.

• Warren Golde and the entire Lewes in Bloom team have the flowers at the drawbridge and all around the Front Street and Savannah Road intersection cascading out of their boxes and almost shouting with lush color. “How often do we get to the middle of August and still see our lawns green without using the sprinklers?” said Warren.

• Anyone who doesn’t think the next building boom wave has started in Sussex hasn’t been out to the Senators project on Gills Neck Road near Cape Henlopen High School. There are at least 15 houses under construction in that new project and several sold signs suggesting more will soon be started. Framers, roofers, siding specialists, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, masons, painters and finish carpenters are filling both sides of the community’s streets with their trucks and the sounds of construction.

• Ralph Short stopped by Monday afternoon to say there is a flounder bite on. “The old grounds, Fenwick Shoal and the wrecks are all producing right now. That’s a good thing because the fishing hasn’t been real strong this summer.”

• I spoke to several Realtors over the weekend. They’re all saying the same thing. “Do you want to sell your house? We have lots of buyers, but the inventory is very low.” Obviously that’s one of the reasons why new construction is cranking.

• Steph Long at Café Azafran said last weekend was the first time she’s ever seen Plantation Road backed up all the way to Five Points with local traffic and other drivers trying to bypass Route 1.

• Good news. A Henry Evans article in a recent edition of the Gazette says the extension of the Gordons Pond bicycle and pedestrian trail to the northern end of Cape Henlopen State Park is about to go to bid. Henry said the state hopes to have the trail complete by next spring. Glenn Shaffer at Lewes Cycle Sports told me the bicycle business is booming this summer. When the trail extension is complete and the 18-mile loop including the Junction and Breakwater Trail, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, and both ends of Cape Henlopen State Park is continuous, this area’s cachet as a bicycling destination will tick up to another level.

In my travels over the past three months, I found that one of the most important words that contributes to good relations among people is respect. Simple respect - an acknowledgement that each of us has value and an equal place in this world - time and again opened the door for friendly and constructive conversation. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin sang it. Such a simple formula. Try it. You’ll like it.

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