Reverse Parking, Satellite Dishes and ‘Political’ Signs

Cape Charles Wave

May 11, 2015

The May 5 Cape Charles Planning Commission agenda covered not just the visual and aesthetic, but also the fiscal issues that could have broad effects for both businesses and the general population.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the Planning Commission had to conduct the session with a skeleton crew: two members absent and a third 30 minutes late.

Town Planner Larry DiRe reported that “reverse angle parking” will be implemented on Mason Avenue in the next week or so. For higher traffic areas, reverse angle parking is a safer type of angle parking — instead of pulling into the parking spot, cars are supposed to (but not required to) back into their spots, allowing them to make eye contact with oncoming traffic when exiting the parking space. You don’t have to back out into oncoming traffic. The benefits will be to create a more efficient parking scenario, fitting more parking into less space.

DiRe also noted that the town will be looking at reverse angle parking on some parts of Bay Avenue. Once feasibility is determined, the same application process with VDOT will have to be undertaken (possibly in front of the gazebo, and south towards the pier).

The Commission once again visited the notion of a Tourist Zoning Ordinance somewhat akin to the Technology Zone already in place. The goal of these specialized economic zones is to attract investment in the downtown and harbor areas. How this will actually be implemented is still in question but could involve a grant or credit. “We need to look at this,” said Commissioner Joan Natali. “Do we need to change this to say grant, or credit, to reflect what is accurate?”

Natali also voiced fiscal concerns about how the town plans to create the incentive structure. “I really believe the Treasurer needs to weigh in on this” to provide an adequate level of insight and context, she said.

DiRe noted that he and Town Manager Brent Manuel had begun discussions with the Treasurer. Natali also voiced concerns about businesses that may attempt to take advantage of the program. “How do we determine if what they did was appropriate? If they don’t meet the criteria, don’t meet the regulations, how do we handle getting money back, or getting refunds?” she asked. DiRe agreed that should be looked at, and those rules and stipulations should be undertaken as part of creating the new tax zone. [Read more…]


Old School ‘Now Leasing’ (with Illegal Sign)

(Wave photo)


May 11, 2015

Everything about the Old School giveaway has been either illegal or underhanded, so no surprise that the NOW LEASING sign was also put up illegally.

The sign is erected on VDOT right-of-way, to begin with. During last year’s heated local elections, town officials were instructed to alert VDOT to campaign signs posted in public right-of-way areas, and the signs were removed. There was no “10-day warning.”

The sign is also some four times larger than the 4 square feet allowed.

The only surprise is that Cape Charles’s new zoning administrator, Larry DiRe, slapped a warning notice on the sign. DiRe has only been on the job a matter of weeks and apparently was unaware that Old School developer J. David McCormack gets carte blanche (including free water). [Read more…]

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Fresh Eggs and More at La Caridad Farm

Cape Charles Wave 

May 11, 2015

It was one of the few sunny spring days when Luis Echevarria and I wandered down the grassy path towards the poultry enclosure at the 40-acre La Caridad Farm in Parksley. As we approached, I noticed a large white goose honking furiously at us. This is a goose with the job of guarding the ducks — and he works for food.

Guard Goose

(Photos: Karen Gay)

Luis explained that several days before, this goose bit his wife Stacia Childers’ leg, causing a large and painful bruise. Since introducing the goose to the flock they have not lost any to predation. The well-guarded ducks are Welsh Harlequins, which weigh about 5 pounds and lay an egg almost every day. Their eggs are larger than chicken eggs, but Luis prizes them mostly for their richness. When Stacia joined us she kept her distance from the goose.

The chickens are in an adjoining enclosure and are of varied breeds. The rooster shown at right is a Dorking, the white hens are Delawares, the brown hen is a New Hampshire and the black hen is an Australorp. They also have Easter Egg layers or Ameraucanas, which produce green, olive, blue or pastel colored eggs.

Luis and Stacia gave me a dozen eggs to take home with me and I ran a test a few days later. I borrowed an egg which had come from regular Food Lion eggs. I photographed the La Caridad and Food Lion egg side by side. Can you guess which one came from La Caridad? The answer is at the bottom of the article. [Read more…]


GUEST EDITORIAL: Prisons vs. Prosperity

May 11, 2015

We understand that two Northampton Supervisors recently lamented in a public meeting the county’s decision back in the mid-1990s not to allow a state prison to be built here. What’s happened to the counties which were included in the state’s prison building boom over the last 30 years? Did the promises of jobs, economic development and state-provided benefits meet expectations? Not so much.

And not for many rural counties. Localities were looking at prisons as economic engines back then, and Northampton County’s refusal to take the bait in 1993 was considered Wise County’s windfall. By the middle of the decade Wise county had not one, but two so-called “Super Max” prisons. Greensville, Buchanan and Mecklenberg Counties, all rural, had one state prison each, and the correctional system was often the largest employer in the county.

Then the prison population started to fall off – court imposed sentences became shorter, the crime rate fell and in the midst of lawsuits against the Commonwealth for unacceptable treatment of inmates, other states took back their farmed-out prisoners.

Former Governor McDonnell closed the Mecklenburg prison, nearly bankrupting the town of Boydton. The town relied heavily on the prison’s sewage payments to support their town budget, and was left with a $1.4 million debt for sewer lines to the prison. One of the Wise County prisons was downgraded, causing layoffs and long-term unemployment. The state prison in Pittsylvania County closed less than 10 years after it was built, and a brand new facility in Grayson County has never opened. [Read more…]

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Prima Ballerina Allison Shockley rehearses her point dance for her role as Patsy the Banana Spider in “Incredible Exploits of an Effervescent Elf.” Performances are Saturday, May 16, 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 17, 3 p.m. at the Historic Palace Theatre, 305 Mason Avenue. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and may be purchased immediately before performance at the box office.

Walter Ostrander, 79, Graphic Artist, Air Force Veteran

May 11, 2015

Walter Ostrander, 79, husband of Ann Kovacevich Ostrander and a Cape Charles resident, passed away Thursday, May 7, at his residence. A graveside service with Military Honors will be conducted noon Wednesday, May 13, at Quantico National Cemetery with Reverend David Moser officiating.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Ostrander was born June 9, 1935. He was a United States Air Force Veteran, retired self-employed graphic artist, and member of American Legion Post #56. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Michael Ostrander and his wife, Lynda, of Richmond, Katherine Ostrander of Stafford, David Ostrander of Cape Charles; a brother, Richard Ostrander of Rhode Island, and a grandson, Michael J. Ostrander of Richmond. [Read more…]

SATURDAY 5/16: Crabby Blues Festival at Central Park

Cape Charles Central Park will be filled with music, food, families, and fun 3 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, May 16, for the 4th Annual Crabby Blues Festival. Enjoy fresh, off-the-boat crabs, live music, silent auction, kids area, arts & crafts vendors, and food vendors. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children (under 3 free). Proceeds benefit Cape Charles Christian School. [Read more…]


FRIDAY 5/15: Suwannee River: Geology, Fauna & Flora

Science and Philosophy Seminar of the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s last seminar of this semester, “Suwannee River: Geology, Fauna, & Flora,” will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, in the Lecture Hall of the Eastern Shore Community College, Melfa. Sandy and Ken Schultz will discuss some of the unusual features of this federally designated wild blackwater river that flows from Georgia to the Florida Gulf Coast. [Read more…]