PSA Defies Board of Supervisors on Route 13 Sewerage

Cape Charles Wave

November 24, 2014

Northampton’s Public Service Authority voted November 18 to construct a wastewater collection system to run from the Cheriton area of Route 13 to the Cape Charles sewer plant, contingent on funding. The vote would appear to fly in the face of a September 23, 2013, decision by the county Board of Supervisors to table any further action on a sewer pipe to Cape Charles. Facing overwhelming public opposition at the time, then-Chairman Willie Randall said, “We heard you, we listened, there will be no action on this plan until we get a better understanding of what to do.”

Supervisors’ meetings over the past year reveal no “better understanding” today than before. In fact, a Supervisors meeting tonight (November 24) will discuss using the Bayview treatment plant instead of Cape Charles —  an option not under active consideration by the PSA.

On paper, the PSA is an independent body, with four members appointed by participating municipalities and five members appointed at large by the Board of Supervisors. But while the PSA can vote to do whatever it wants, it has no taxing authority. The Board of Supervisors allocated $130,000 for the PSA in last year’s budget, $58,000 of which has been spent for sewer pipe engineering studies by the firm of Hurt and Profitt. But no money was allocated to the PSA for the current budget year.

PSA Chairman John Reiter (At Large) said that although the PSA is not yet ready to construct the sewer pipe, he requested authorization “to execute the contract at such time as the BOS approves the special tax district and mandatory connections and wants us to go forward.” J.T. Holland (At Large), Bob Panek (Cape Charles),  and Felton Sessoms (Nassawadox) joined Reiter in approving the motion.  Taylor Dukes (Exmore) and Greg Hardesty (Cheriton) voted against it.

Following the vote, Dukes said, “What I feel from the public is, they’re not for it.” He said he could not see supporting something the public is vocally against. Hardesty reported that business owners in Cheriton are not only opposed to the project, “they are vehemently opposed to it.” [Read more...]


LETTER: Don’t Call Me a Come-Here, Mr. Supervisor!

November 24, 2014


In regard to the Northampton County Board of Supervisors’ unilateral plan to change the current zoning ordinance to resemble an Ocean City or Virginia Beach model of development, it raises my ire when Supervisors such as Larry Trala dismiss those of us seeking more of a voice in this process as “come-heres.” This conjurs up the “pot and the kettle” scenario considering we have been told Larry may have roots in Detroit.

I take this dismissal personally, and must respond to several issues regarding various statements made by the Supervisors who are promoting the rezoning campaign. In response to the “come-here” remark, I have two comments. First, those who have discovered Northampton County and have decided to move here and invest much of their life’s savings in this great county do so because they have fallen in love with what we have to offer. Their tax dollars support our schools, our roads, our businesses, our support services, and our cultural resources. Rather than branding them something less than what they are as “come-heres,” we should open our arms and realize that they are here because they are “wanna-be-heres” as Art Schwarzschild recently stated at a public forum on the rezoning debate, and have fallen in love with the county for what it isn’t (Ocean City or Virginia Beach) — a scenario that is being threatened by this closed-door scheme.

As for this “come here,” I don’t think so. In fact, my father’s family, the Schoolfields, came to the Eastern Shore with the contingents that accompanied Lord Baltimore in the 1600s. My maternal great-grandfather, G. Russel Smith, was a horse-and-buggy doctor in Cheriton in the 19th century. His daughter, my grandmother, and her husband, Gansevoort Hurlbut, bought the majestic Wellington estate on the Nassawadox in the 1930s and later purchased the smaller Refuge estate, now the home of the county attorney (one of the prime movers of the “let anyone do anything they want on their property” zoning revision). My grandmother also worked at the Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital and helped raise the funds necessary to build that facility. I was born in that hospital 60 years ago (wow, where does the time go?) and spent many years and indeed every summer of my life on the Nassawadox Creek with my children. And as for my “come-here” husband, Ken, he is a “brought-here” — by me — and his involvement in the zoning debate is partly because I asked him to do so because I owe it to my heritage to protect this county from impending assault, and partly because we both want to protect our many investments in Northampton County and the Town of Exmore. [Read more...]


LETTER: Citizens Should Oppose Rezoning NOW

November 24, 2014


Several of our key Northampton elected and salaried officials apparently have taken zoning matters into their own hands thus necessitating the Shore citizens groups’ volunteer forum November 6 to bring us up to speed — in a cordial, impressively professional manner — on the complexities of the disturbing scenario. We owe CBES [Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore] and Shorekeeper our gratitude and respect.

Four centuries ago the original Shore inhabitants were blindsided with the arrival of Europeans who in short order — a generation or so — transformed forever their heritage and way of life by relocating them (displacement) to a reservation, the 52 acre fragment of which remains today as Indiantown Park, Eastville seaside. No matter that the natives were friendly and peaceful, used coastal waterways as their highways, and were not prone to fouling their own nests as they moved back and forth seasonally from their small scattered settlements.

Equally soon by early spring of 1651-1652 the invasive settlers found cause to protest excessive taxation in the first such demonstration in American history. So, you see, dramatic earth shaking and shaping events can happen very quickly. We may be on a similar precipice.

Thus far our elected officials — save one — propose opening Pandora’s box for unbridled development on our rural lower peninsula, not only with the potential for a bar in Franktown as our hospital closes down, but also more seriously with unannounced nasty wastes and dangerous biomass uses. Their unleashed rezoning ignores state code requiring a (formerly carefully crafted) Comprehensive Plan as its foundation, the format of which was defined by Northampton citizen input over an extended period. Thankfully our Comp Plan, aka the backbone approved by state code, remains a flexible document in that it can be adjusted or amended when necessary. Critics of rezoning often have cited this key advantage. So if it ain’t broke, why fix it? [Read more...]

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THURSDAY 11/27: Golf Cart Raffle for Eastern Shore Spay Organization

Eastern Shore Spay Organization (ESSO) is raffling a golf cart to help purchase a “Neuter Scooter” for the Eastern Shore. The drawing will be Thanksgiving Day at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Civic Center. Mayor Proto will pull the winning tickets. [Read more...]


NOV 28/29: Eastern Shore Artisans Guild Holiday Tour Stretches from Cape Charles to Onancock

The Eastern Shore Artisans Guild Holiday Tour will be held Friday/Saturday (November 28-29) from 10 a.m. t0 5 p.m. There are 10 stops in Accomack and Northampton counties for this self-drive tour, stretching from Cape Charles to Onancock, hosting 21 juried guild members who will exhibit their work. Stops include artisan studios, historic buildings, an alpaca farm, and one vineyard/winery, and offer a wide variety of high-quality handmade items, most of which are one-of-a-kind pieces. Jewelry, decoys, and wildlife carvings, ceramics, art quilts, pottery, metal sculptures, wearable fiber, Windsor chairs, are available. The tour is free, self-directed, and self-driven tour. Light refreshments will be available at most stops.

[Read more...]

SUNDAY 11/30: Special Music Program at Emmanuel Episcopal

On Sunday, November 30, Emmanuel Episcopal, 601 Tazewell Avenue, will have a special music program on the First Sunday in Advent. Dennis Saidat, a part-time resident, and Sallie Bartholemew from Richmond will play flute and harp for the prelude, offertory, and postlude. The worship service begins at 9 a.m. All are welcome to worship and fellowship.

FRIDAY 12/5: Progressive Tasting Tour Showcases Sea Cottage Addition

Northampton County Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the 19th Annual Holiday Progressive Tasting Tour Friday, December 5. Take a step back in time in the Victorian town of Cape Charles, that has been decked out for the holidays. Tour lovely restored homes in the Sea Cottage Addition area of town. Visit quaint and unique shops — a great way to kick off the holiday season.

The tour begins at the Historic Palace Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Cape Charles. At each of the six sites, guests are treated to creatively prepared regional foods by some of the finest restaurants on the Shore. The walking path is aglow from the light of 1200 luminaires that lead the guests to the tour sites. [Read more...]

Savage Neck Dunes Closed Weekdays During Deer Hunting Season

Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve will be closed to visitors most weekdays from November 3 through December 19 for managed deer hunts. The preserve will be open to visitors on weekends during this time, as well as during the Thanksgiving holiday, November 26-28. The hunts help reduce deer browsing and trampling of the preserve’s sensitive resources. Savage Neck Dunes is located in Northampton County on the Chesapeake Bay. The 298-acre preserve is owned and managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Publish Your Event in the Cape Charles Wave

Holding an event of interest to the general public in or near Cape Charles? Send an email to
[email protected] and your event will be listed in ON THE TELEPHONE POLE. Events will normally be publicized the same week they occur. Deadline for submission is the preceding Saturday.

FRIDAY 11/28: Welcome Back to Legendary
Giddens’ Do Drop Inn

Welcome back to the legendary “Giddens’ Do Drop Inn,” creating memories Friday, November 28. Doors open 7 p.m., showtime 7:30 p.m. Live bands, dancing, and much more! [Read more...]

SATURDAY 11/29: 17th Annual Oyster Roast at Cape Charles Museum

On November 29 the Cape Charles Historical Society will hold its 17th Annual Oyster Roast from 5 until 9 at the Museum. The menu includes local oysters (roasted and raw), fried chicken, potato salad, chowder, 3 bean salad, homemade rolls, desserts, coffee, and soda, with beer and wine available. Food is served 5 -7 p.m.. Live music throughout by the Waterfront Band. Silent auction featuring an array of eclectic items, and the traditional Eastern Shore 50/50 raffle. Seating is available both inside and out. [Read more...]

THURSDAY 12/4: Nature Conservancy Holiday Open House

The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve invites you to a Holiday Open House at the Historic Brownsville House Thursday, December 4, from  4 – 8 p.m.  Adults and children are welcome to join the festivities and enjoy a tour of the Brownsville House, farm rides until sunset, a campfire with s’mores and plenty of refreshments. [Read more...]

Beach Access Closed at Jefferson Avenue

The Town of Cape Charles has closed the Jefferson Avenue beach access using erosion fence and burlap. This is the worst area where sand blows onto Bay Avenue. There is very little beach to sidewalk ratio in this area and no grass to help hold the sand. The new fence will help build up the sand in this area. A temporary wooden post will also be installed with safety rope fencing along the edge of the sidewalk due to the drop-off in this area. While this entrance is closed, the Public Works crew will be constructing wooden steps with a railing to be installed from the sidewalk to the beach. The maintenance entrance is close by and all other beach access points will remain open.


Pin-Up Pets Featured in SPCA Calendar

People love their pets. That’s why the SPCA Eastern Shore had an abundance of responses when they asked if any of their previous adopters would like to purchase a month to feature their SPCA alum pet in the shelter’s 2015 fund-raising calendar. From the cover shot of Maxie Mouse, a terrier, on the sandbar at Cherrystone through the December photo of Kermit the Cat daring anyone to touch her Christmas presents, the calendar showcases an array of former shelter residents who have found happy and loving forever homes. [Read more...]

Register for Master Gardener Training Class

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Master Gardeners Program is accepting applications for the 2015 Master Gardener training class, which will be held at the Eastern Shore Agriculture Research and Experimental Center, 33446 Research Drive, Painter, beginning January 14, and continuing every Wednesday from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. through April 15.  The cost is $100 to cover materials and lectures.  [Read more...]

‘Festive Fridays’ Deliver Old Fashioned Holiday Feel

Cape Charles Wave

November 21, 2014

Cue the song by Little River Band “Reminiscing.” The song is playing on a Friday night, just as a guy is walking his girl home, a frequent happening in small towns like our own Cape Charles.

If only there were more events to walk your girl or guy home from in Cape Charles!

“Well, I want to tell you, Cape Charles, I want to plan my schedule around you. Tell you that it’s true. I want to make you understand. I’m talking about a holiday plan!”

Calling all Cape Charles residents! You too can walk through the park reminiscing — after “Festive Fridays” that is.

“Festive Fridays” will take place on six consecutive Friday evenings beginning November 21 through December 26. This is your chance to enjoy an old-fashioned, small-town holiday experience, including shopping, delicious food and drink, entertainment, seasonal decorations, and plenty of good cheer.

Each Friday from 5-8 p.m. enjoy events like horse-drawn carriage rides, special deals at restaurants, refreshments, and special promotions at local merchants. Get into the holiday spirit by following the luminaries lighting the sidewalks of Cape Charles while enjoying holiday caroling and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Even the “Love” sign will be front and center in town and decorated for the season. Don’t miss your chance to make new memories in Cape Charles that you’ll reminisce about for years to come.

More Rezoning Opposition at Supervisors Meeting

"NO REZONING" signs are popping up like mushrooms around Northampton County. (Wave photo)

NO REZONING signs are popping up like mushrooms around Northampton County. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

November 17, 2014

Northampton County residents again turned out for a Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, November 12, to raise concerns about proposed zoning ordinance changes that have been the center of controversy since they were presented to the public last spring. All but one of the dozen speakers requested the withdrawal of the rezoning proposals. Only local Realtor Bill Parr, who as chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee helped to influence the proposed changes, spoke in favor of going forward with the zoning code rewrite. [Read more...]


LETTER: ‘Open Season’ on Central Park Cats

This rescue cat, "Tiger Lilly," is happily still in the land of the living.

This rescue cat, “Tiger Lilly,” is happily still in the land of the living. (Photo: Sandy Mayer)

November 17, 2014


Keep your kitties inside! Evidentially there was a complaint filed with the Sheriff’s office by a woman who was disturbed by the cats in her yard. Consequently, the Sheriff’s office and Animal Control are actively hunting cats in the Cape Charles Central Park area. No animal is safe — it is open season on Cape Charles cats. If you are missing an animal you need to call Animal Control in Onley at 757-787-7385 to identify the animal and produce evidence of rabies vaccinations to reclaim the animal. [Read more...]


Christian School Dedicates Multi-Use Heyward Hall

Heyward Hall, with magnificently restored windows, is dedicated November 15. (Photo: Tammy Holloway)

Heyward Hall, with magnificently restored windows, is dedicated November 15. (Photos: Tammy Holloway)

Cape Charles Christian School

November 17, 2014

Since 2010, the Cape Charles Christian School has operated in a beautiful stone building, the former First Presbyterian Church of Cape Charles, built in 1925. Recently the former sanctuary was renovated and made available for the first time in the school’s daily activities. Now known as Heyward Hall, the renovation created a multi-use event space which will bring new life to the former sanctuary while maintaining and respecting its historical bones. Heyward Hall’s beautiful and very functional space will also be available for wedding ceremonies, meetings and conferences. [Read more...]

St. Stephen’s AME
Oldest Church in Town Celebrates 125 Years

The St. Stephen's edifice, constructed in 1885, originally housed

Church edifice was  constructed in 1885 and purchased in 1889 by St. Stephen’s congregation. (Wave photo)

November 17, 2014

St. Stephen’s AME Church held their 125th Anniversary Celebration Sunday, November 16. The guest speaker was the Rev. Timothy Johnson, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Eastville. St. Stephen’s African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving church structure in Cape Charles, according to the National Register of Historic Places. The building was constructed in 1885 as Bethany Methodist Episcopal church and originally was located at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Plum Street across from the Cape Charles School. [Read more...]


Forum on County Rezoning Draws Full House

Audience member Katherine Campbell spoke in favor of proposed zoning changes. (Wave photos)

Audience member Katherine Campbell spoke in favor of proposed zoning changes. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

November 10, 2014

Speakers at a community forum on the Northampton County Zoning Ordinance last Thursday called for the Board of Supervisors to withdraw the proposed ordinance changes being considered.

Some 140 residents braved the rainy evening to  attend the forum in the Eastville Fire Station Bingo Hall sponsored by Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper and Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. County Supervisors Granville Hogg and Rick Hubbard were among them. When asked when the supervisors might vote on the proposed changes Hogg answered, “I don’t know.”

Audience sentiment clearly supported withdrawing the proposed zoning changes. But one attendee, Katherine Campbell, bravely asked to speak in favor of the changes and was given three minutes. She said her concern was that the county needed economic development and that the zoning changes would lead to a more prosperous county. In response, panelist Roberta Kellam noted that everyone is interested in a more prosperous county. Kellam questioned how the zoning ordinance’s proposed ban on single-wide mobile homes could benefit low-income residents. “Will developers build affordable homes or waterfront homes?” Kellam asked. [Read more...]


GUEST EDITORIAL: Withdraw the Proposed Rezoning

Executive Director
Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore

November 10, 2014

Some 140 citizens gathered last Thursday at the Northampton Community Forum in Eastville to hear an explanation of the proposed countywide rezoning and some of the changes versus our current zoning. Volunteering their time and expertise, the panel included several trained, experienced Virginia State certified citizen Planning Commissioners, a scientist and Director at the University of Virginia’s Coastal Research Center, and a real estate broker of 40 years.

As co-sponsor of the event with Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper, Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore was encouraged by the large attendance. Clearly there is a thirst for additional information about the proposed zoning.  The lack of knowledge, confusion, and alarm residents expressed concerning the new zoning proposed is another indication that the county has not done an adequate job explaining the changes proposed. [Read more...]


Great Atlantic Sturgeon Making Comeback

One of the first sturgeon caught in the James River in decades, this specimen measured over 7 feet long and weighed 300 pounds. (Photo: Virginia Commonwealth University)

One of the first sturgeon caught in the James River in decades, this specimen measured over 7 feet long and weighed 300 pounds. (Photo: Virginia Commonwealth University)


November 10, 2014

In 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed the Great Atlantic Sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act. This is usually bad news, but since sightings and spawning grounds were so rare, the fact that there was enough sturgeon left to even warrant the declaration is a good thing. Two years later, we find that they are once again spawning in the Chesapeake Bay just outside the James River.

A bit of a homecoming, the fish was critical to the first English settlement at Jamestown, and was noted by inhabitants as the “founding fish.” Historians and archaeologists unearthing the history of the Jamestown colony have called the sturgeon “The fish that saved Jamestown.” During a period known as “The Starving Time,” it was the one food source available to the English colonists that kept them alive. Because of their familiarity with the sturgeon species from the Thames River in England, they knew how to catch and cook the fish. [Read more...]


Donna Bozza Is New CBES Executive Director

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CBES President Arthur Upshur, new CBES Executive Director Donna Bozza, and outgoing CBES Executive Director Denard Spady

November 1, 2014

Donna Bozza is the new executive director for Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. She succeeds Denard Spady who is retiring after nearly 20 years as director.

CBES, a non-profit organization formed 26 years ago to promote balanced growth in Accomack and Northampton counties while enhancing the quality of life for all citizens and preserving natural resources.

Bozza will be the first CBES executive director to serve full-time, which is being done to expand the organization’s role and effectiveness. The change to full-time work mirrors the move made recently by Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper, which was initially established by CBES.

“We have been fortunate in being able to hire, as our Executive Directors, two people of exceptional qualifications: Jay Ford, who became the VES Executive Director and Shorekeeper last November, and now Donna Bozza, the new Executive Director of CBES,” said Jack Ordeman, board member and past president of CBES and president of Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper. “We are confident that both organizations will increase their influence and better fulfill the goals of their Mission Statements under their capable and inspiring leadership,” he said. [Read more...]