Big Mason Avenue Project Raises Parking Concerns

Developer Patrick Hand supplied this sketch of one of the buildings he proposes to construct on the site of the old Be-Lo grocery.

Developer Patrick Hand supplied this sketch of one of the buildings he proposes to construct on the site of the old Be-Lo grocery.

Cape Charles Wave

March 31, 2014

Local real estate developer Patrick Hand outlined to Cape Charles Town Council last Thursday his plans to demolish the vacant grocery store building on Mason Avenue and replace it with two new buildings with stores on the ground floors and condos above. But while a prominent eyesore would disappear, so would more than 100 public parking spaces.

Hand envisions an extension of Strawberry Street running through the middle of where the 1950s-era grocery store building is located, with a new structure flanking each side of the street. He suggested that the town buy the property from him needed for the extension and turn it into a pedestrian mall.

The proposed buildings would be constructed and occupied in phases, beginning with a three-story structure across the street from the Wilson Building on the corner of Mason and Strawberry. A second building two to four stories high would be built later, east of the first building. The first building would contain 28 units, five of them ground-floor commercial storefronts and the rest mostly one-bedroom condo apartments. Some corner units would have two bedrooms.

Hand has a contract to buy the 1.45-acre Be-Lo building and parking lots for an undisclosed price. Although Hand does not yet own the property, he has been negotiating with the town to sell it a portion of the property to be turned into a pedestrian mall, and another portion to be used as public parking. Negotiations have so far not been successful.

Hand also is asking the town for several concessions, including a deferral of water and sewer connection fees, a reduced setback requirement, and a blanket parking variance. Hand said he has requested a hearing by the Board of Zoning Appeals, but there are no details on the town website. [Read more…]


David Mitchell As Milkman, Baseball Pitcher, Cook

David Mitchell today (13 years after his remarks transcribed here). Photo courtesy Marion Naar

David Mitchell today (13 years after his remarks transcribed here). Photo courtesy Marion Naar

March 31, 2014

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days.  A grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities enabled 15 interviews to be transcribed, and the Historical Society has made this one available for readers of the Wave.  All the transcriptions may be read at the Cape Charles Museum.)

David Mitchell speaks April 12, 2001


It didn’t last long before Mr. Gladstone got a car and started delivering milk in a car.  And we put milk on all the ferries that ran here in town.  I remember there was the Princess Anne, the Pocahontas, the DelMarva.  Finally, they got the Northampton, the Accomac, and the Old Pointe Comfort, and the Elisha Lee.  Anyway, we used to put milk on those ferries when they were running in town, especially the Princess Anne, Pocahontas and DelMarva.

I had a scary time once when I went on there to put some milk on one of them.  I didn’t have much time to go up to put the milk up in the kitchen (I always had to carry it to the kitchen).  On the Pocahontas, of course, they had a big dance floor there in the middle of the boat.  You’d go up there and people would be dancing and I’m going through with two carries of milk, zigzagging trying to get to the kitchen.  And the boat blew the horn to leave and I couldn’t get off!  I ran down the steps and the boat was about 10 feet away, the guy grabbed me because I was coming so fast I guess I would have run overboard if he hadn’t grabbed me to stop me.  And they just ribbed me all the way back.  Told me I had to wash the dishes, had to paint the deck.  They just told me everything.  I was scared as I could be.  But, anyway, I went over and came back.  That was the only time that it ever happened.  I found out all they were doing was needling me, giving me a hard time. [Read more…]


Supervisors, PSA Hope to Resolve Town Problem


March 31, 2014

The Northampton Board of Supervisors met March 24 with the Public Service Authority in an effort to break the logjam in cooperation with the Town of Cape Charles. Their solution was to form a three-way committee composed of two Supervisors, two PSA members, and two Cape Charles Town Council members.

Representing the Supervisors will be Granville Hogg and Rick Hubbard, and from the PSA are Bob Panek and Sean Ingram. It will be up to Cape Charles Town Council to decide who represents the Council. Recognizing that Town Council elections are May 6, the Supervisors recommended waiting until after that to convene the committee.

The March 24 meeting was the first since Bob Panek resigned as PSA chairman January 28. County Supervisors forced his resignation by cutting off PSA funding so long as Panek was chairman. Panek remains a member of the PSA, appointed by the Town of Cape Charles.

Panek reportedly has recommended that Town Council immediately appoint Joan Natali and Frank Wendell to the joint committee without waiting for elections. Natali is running for re-election and Wendell is running for mayor, creating the possibility that neither of them would continue as a Council member. [Read more…]

County Zoning Controversy Unresolved after Meeting


March 31, 2014

After hundreds of residents attended a March 11 public hearing to rally against proposed sweeping zoning changes, Northampton County Board of Supervisors sent the proposal to the County Planning Commission. The Supervisors met jointly with the Planning Commission March 24 to discuss next steps.

Opponents of the proposed zoning changes now worry that the Planning Commission will be forced into a hasty decision, and they blame County officials for not simply withdrawing the zoning amendment and resubmitting it later.

As the Wave reported March 13 (CLICK), the controversy is over sweeping proposed changes to the County zoning code, including removal of special seaside protections that under Federal law are afforded the bayside. CLICK for a comprehensive list of opponents’ concerns.

Inexplicably, although the proposed zoning amendments have been worked on for over a year, the Planning Commission was not involved. When opponents pointed out that under law the Planning Commission must be involved, the draft ordinance was “dropped in our laps with a 100-day review period,” in the words of one Commission member. [Read more…]

1 Comment

American Legion National Commander Visits Wednesday



American Legion Post 56

March 31, 2014

American Legion National Commander Dan Dellinger will visit Post 56 and the Eastern Shore Wednesday, April 2 — the first known visit to the Shore of an American Legion national commander.

Post 56 in Cheriton is hosting a luncheon for Dellinger and his staff and anticipates a large crowd, including the American Legion Riders, local elected officials, and dignitaries.

As the national commander, Dellinger is the chief executive officer and official spokesman for the 2.4 million members of The American Legion, with full power to enforce provisions of the organization’s constitution, bylaws and resolutions. He is the veterans’ conduit to America’s elected officials, and has testified before the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. His concerns and inquires have included the VA claims backlog, VA medical care for women veterans, budget cuts, post traumatic stress disorders, TRICARE cuts, and traumatic brain injuries from IED attacks. [Read more…]


TUESDAY 4/1: Planning Commission to Review Chicken Keeping, Tourism Zone

On Tuesday, April 1, at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, the Planning Commission will review proposed rules regarding backyard chicken keeping in Cape Charles. The Commission will also revisit the idea of establishing a Tourism Zone in town.

The Town of Cape Charles seeks public comment on allowing chicken keeping in town. CLICK  to answer the survey. [Read more…]

1 Comment

REVIEW: Odd Couple Brought Us Together for a Night

Seated Left to Right:
Mellisa Stein as Olive Madison
Fran Loper as Renee’
Susan Kovacs as Sylvie
Joanne Dean as Mickey
Sherri DeMarino as Vera
Christy Iversen as Florence Unger
Travis Handy, Stage Manager & Stage Hand
Standing Left to Right:
Kevin Schwenk, Hair & Make up
Victor Abrahamian as Manolo Constazuela
Clelia Sheppard, Director, Set Design & Decor
J.P. Pare as Jesus Constazuela
Rachel Attenberg, Stage Hand
Not pictured:
Chris & Walt Rool, Photograhy
Richard Spano, Lighting Tech
Rob Colls-CCC Renovations, Set Construction


March 29, 2014

The play The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre on March 10, 1965, and later moved to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre where it closed on July 2, 1967 after 964 performances and two previews. Directed by Mike Nichols, the original cast starred Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Art Carney as Felix Ungar. The Nichols show produced Tony Awards for Walter Matthau as Best Actor, as well as Best Author for Simon, Best Direction of a Play for Nichols, and Best Scenic Design for Oliver Smith. In 1968, the film version, starring Matthau and Jack Lemon, cemented the iconic characters of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. In 1970, the television show starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall forever wove Oscar and Felix into the American consciousness.

The beauty of theater is that it is never static, whether it is recreating the Oresteia Trilogy, or Hamlet, or The Sound of Music. There’s always something new, a different angle, a new way to be fresh. That is just what we saw this last weekend with the Palace Theatre’s brilliant production of The Odd Couple: Female Version. Great productions always start at the top, and Clelia Shepherd’s vision, wit, and charm created the perfect pallet. The production had a firm, even pace, allowing each actor the room to breathe and find their space within this rather daunting script.

This version of the Odd Couple differed from many I have scene, due to its visual brilliance — the actors literally popped on the stage, and the credit for this goes to one of the most talented and underrated artists on the Shore — the Palace Theatre costume mistress, Vera Miller. After every show, I always tell myself, there’s no way she’ll ever be able to top that, but somehow she always does, whether it is pitch-perfect historical such as Oliver or Piece of Eden, or the flat-out brilliance and style of Seussical the Musical. Here, once again, her eye was spot on. Working with Ms. Miller, Kevin Schwenk’s great work with hair and make-up truly lent an air of authenticity to the show.

The beauty of the Odd Couple is that it plays to America’s greatest theatrical strength — the ensemble comedic cast, and that strength was exploited to the fullest by Ms. Shepherd. The heart of the Odd Couple is the friendship and camaraderie that exists among the characters, especially when they meet for the weekly card games. In the female version, poker is exchanged for Trivial Pursuit, a savvy twist by the author, opening the door for numerous one-liners and zingers. [Read more…]


SATURDAY 4/5: Vivaldi Tribute at Palace Theatre

Saturday, April 5,  at 7:00 p.m., the Historic Palace Theatre on Mason Avenue presents a Tribute to Vivaldi. The evening will be filled with beautiful music along with imagery on the big screen. Violinist Dora Mullins and pianist Stefan Dulcie will perform Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Adults $15, Students $5. [Read more…]