ANONYMOUS


Want to give your 2 cents’ worth but don’t feel comfortable using your name?  Send it to [email protected] with the subject “Anonymous.” (You can also request that your name be published.)

APRIL 2015

SHOWING THE FLAG (6) — Oral Lambert makes a common mistake by applying the misnomer “homeowners association” to the Bay Creek At Cape Charles Community Association, Inc.  It is not a “homeowners association” but a “property owners association.” Calling it a homeowners association leaves the impression that the 873 lot owners are not part of the association.  But both lot owners and homeowners are in fact members. Lambert should also re-read pages 4 and 5 of the Declaration: “Common Expenses.”  Common Expenses shall not include any expenses incurred during the Class “B” Control Period for initial development or other construction costs unless Voting Members representing a majority of the total Class “A” vote of the Association approve. If Oral is now saying that those original expenses were on behalf of the property owners association, then he should produce the voting records of the Class A members who approved of such expenditures — way back when! (4/21)

LIGHT RAIL IN CAPE CHARLES? — The Cape Charles Comprehensive Plan hardly seems an appropriate document to contain an April Fool’s joke, but what other explanation can there be for the goal to encourage commuter rail to the harbor? Cape Charles does NOT need a Light Rail system. We are NOT a Metro City. The car you drove here with is enough transportation to get where you are going in this little town — or rent a golf cart. The town needs to STOP spending! Our taxes would go up even higher for a Light Rail which the town doesn’t need. Where is the common sense? (4/20)

RESPONSE (15) to “Dora Out the Door” — Yes, to Response 13, the Wave may have had something to do with Dora Sullivan’s departure. The Wave shed light on the tip of this iceberg, with Dora disparaging townspeople in Council meetings and her high school giveaway, which was personal to many. Poor losers, the citizens of Cape Charles. Poor woman not so much. I hope that “Panek Out the Door” is the next hot topic in that great Gossip column of yours. (4/19)

SHOWING THE FLAG (5) — Perhaps Oral [Lambert] is correct, but he offers no facts. When Baymark Construction purchased the flagpoles and expensed them as part of its allowable developer expenses, which w​ould​ be offset by sales of lots, etc., WHEN did Bay Creek adjust the previously expensed flagpoles with a credit for the transfer of the flagpoles to the HOA? Since the 2009 Miller Dodson report titled “Replacement Reserve Report FY 2010″ is over 75 pages long and seems to omit the ownership of the flagpoles by the HOA, yet has so many other assets of the HOA listed (perhaps another scrivener’s error), perhaps Oral can direct the readers to the page number in the Miller Dodson report or deed of conveyance documents that show the HOA does in fact own the flagpoles. Or perhaps Oral knows in which year Baymark Construction filed IRS form 8824, “Like-Kind Exchanges (and section 1043 conflict-of-interest sales), so that the HOA can set aside funds for the orderly replacement of the flagpoles in the future, which he claims the HOA owns. (4/18)

RESPONSE (14) to “Dora Out the Door” — The only thing that ”hounded” former mayor Dora Sullivan “out of office” was her own incessant two-faced duplicity which seemed to go hand in hand with that of assistant town manager Bob Panek. Birds of the same feather. (4/17)

SHOWING THE FLAG (4) — We have never responded to the posts on the Wave because in the past the misleading attacks have been directed at the management of Bay Creek. In this case we feel an obligation to respond since it appears to be the intent of the writer to disparage the good name of one of our homeowners. There are four active flagpoles in Bay Creek. Three of these are owned by the Homeowners Association and maintained by the Association.   The fourth is on property owned by the Golf Course and is maintained by the owner.  The American flag is flown from these lighted poles 24/7. The Golf flag pole lights are temporarily under repair, so the flag is removed daily by golf staff until repairs are completed.  [Normally] they are lowered infrequently for repair or replacement, extreme weather conditions, or to respect State and National flag display protocol such as lowering to half-mast.  When this becomes necessary it is done by either community volunteers or labor provided at an hourly rate.  If the anonymous writer of this post would like to come out of the shadows we would be pleased to discuss any issues in an effort to avoid inaccurate statements being posted in the public domain.  (Signed) ORAL LAMBERT, Bay Creek Management (4/15)
Mr. Lambert — The Wave does not of course take responsibility for the accuracy of the anonymous posting you refer to (although we did believe the writer was in a position to know what he was talking about), but we do take responsibility for what you characterize as “misleading attacks in the past directed at the management of Bay Creek.” The most recent news story [CLICK] about Bay Creek and its founder Dickie Foster was published March 16, and was roundly condemned by Ron Wrucke, a Voting Member of the Bay Creek Property Owners Association. In response, we repeatedly asked Mr. Wrucke to state what was incorrect in our story. He would not (or could not) do so in the three comments he made to the story. Your own condemnation of the Wave for publishing “misleading attacks” echoes Mr. Wrucke.  The news story about Foster is the second most widely read in recent months — over 2,600 readers so far. If you really are aware of false statements in the story, you would do Mr. Foster a service by pointing them out in a letter or even a comment, which we would be pleased to publish. The importance of that would seem far greater than correcting an anonymous statement about who owns the four flagpoles. –EDITOR

RESPONSE (13) to “Dora Out the Door” — I read the Wave Gossip article entitled “Dora Out the Door” (2/17) with disgust. The Wave was instrumental in hounding her out of office. Take your victory and leave the poor woman and her family alone. It is one thing to have differing political opinions, another to be just plain mean on a personal level. SMDH. (4/15)

FOSTER LOTS PURCHASED BY TOWN — Seems that few people remember why Foster purchased the lots on Randolph Avenue at the same time that he acquired the Brown & Root properties. He and the Town had agreed to build a traffic circle at the intersection of Randolph and Fig, and Foster wanted control over the properties adjacent. (4/13)

SHOWING THE FLAG (3) –Very few people know the facts behind the flags and flagpoles in Bay Creek. Built by Baymark Construction Corporation, which was the original Declarant before Bay Creek LLC and now Bay Creek South, LLC (Keyser-Sinclair), these flagpoles are understood to still be the property of Baymark Construction (Dickie Foster) and are not part of the Bay Creek Property Owners Association. Foster did however charge the POA for the flags, even those advertising and marketing his Bay Creek properties for sale, and charged the POA every time for hoisting or lowering the flags that the POA had to buy. Perhaps Joan Natali could provide the most current explanation of this sweetheart deal. (4/13)

SHOWING THE FLAG (2) — Why would the writer [below] think that Dickie would get off the dollar for new flags, considering that he skipped out on his condo dues? (4/12)

STARBUCKS OUT, MOONRISE JEWELRY IN — It was a good April Fool’s joke! A Starbucks “Coming Soon” banner was posted on the Wilson’s Building storefront on Mason Avenue April 1st. Everybody thought Cape Charles was getting a new good tasting Mocha coffee with lots of sugar. But it’s really Moonrise Jewelry that is moving to the old Wilson building — NOT Starbucks. I do wish Starbucks coffee would have come in because I love their coffee. I can taste it now! (4/2)

SHOWING THE FLAG (1) — What’s up with the flags at Bay Creek — tattered and torn but yet still displayed? Come on, pay attention to our country’s honor! Buy some new flags — you’ve got the funds. (4/2)

DRONES OVER THE EASTERN SHORE —  Drones are pretty interesting devices and they are making a lot of headlines lately. There’s the growing debate on FAA rules and regulations, the appearance of these machines over beaches, near hospitals, apartment buildings, the near collisions with commercial aircraft, and their outstanding military usage. My understanding is that there are some firms interested in using the Shore as a training site for drones. We need all the industry we can get, but having a “drone school” on the Shore could be problematic. Drones can be equipped with highly sophisticated cameras and other devices that can be a great intrusion on the privacy of the people living on the Shore. Sure, they could be of great benefit to the farmers monitoring their fields, but remember that these drones are controlled by human operators. Who is going to “oversee” (no pun intended) what these human operators can and can’t do with them once they’re up in the air? Here’s an interesting article on drones from Business Insider magazine. http://www.businessinsider.com/privacy-issues-with-commercial-drones-2014-9 (4/2)

GREAT IMPACT — I’d like to say how great our town’s own gym, Impact Fitness, is. Jill gives great classes and even when she is sick, she still comes in and her daughter Michaela takes over. We are so lucky to have them here in Cape Charles. (4/2)

SPOILED BEACH — Does anyone know what the final look of the beach will be after the replenishment? Right now it looks pretty bad. The Cape Charles beach was known for its crescent shaped coves and hundreds of yards of warm pools to wade and walk through. With life jackets, kids were safe and free to run and wade in the warm, calm, knee and waist deep water. The sand was clean, white, and soft. Now it is littered with trash, garage bags, and more glass. It is very disappointing to see the beach ruined. Will it be fixed and cleaned? (4/1)

TIME FOR LEADERSHIP – With new Town Manager Brent Manuel starting work April 6, I hope that our elected officials will allow him to do his job and be responsive to the citizens’ needs. What I am saying is: it’s time for some real leadership. (4/1)

MARCH 2015

LIBRARY IS NOT A COMMUNITY CENTER – Because the Town gave away the Municipal Community Center, Councilman Chris Bannon is now trying to justify it by saying that the library is a community center. The library does NOT have a stage nor does it have any seating area for any events. The library has bookshelves along every walking area and outer wall. The library has NO area for a basketball court. Keep fighting for a basketball court! There is plenty of room for a court next to the skateboard park. In fact the skateboard facility can be moved to the right. (3/29)

TOO BAD — Too bad about “Dickie.” He created a wonderful community beside the bay — two championship golf courses and a nice, quiet, peaceful venue. But he traded in his wonderful creation and reputation . . . for greed. (3/29)

WHERE ARE THE POLICE? The police should patrol Heritage Acres at night. The residents are hearing loud noises outside and people walking around in the middle of the night. My two bags of oranges (from my son in Florida) that were dropped off at my door were taken. (3/28)

TOWN SHOULD STOP SPENDING – Why is a contractor getting $24,000 for a painting job? Everything does NOT need to be contracted out. The town has employees who can paint. This is definitely wrong when the town has their own maintenance crew. Anybody can paint. Pick up the paint brush. The Town Council should definitely not hire a paint contractor. Instead, take this opportunity to cut down expenses. (3/28)

SMALL COUNTY — I just heard that the head of the Northampton County Planning Commission [L. Dixon Leatherbury] is married to the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney [Beverly Leatherbury]. What happens if a taxpayer has an issue with what is ruled on by the Planning Commission and wants legal advice or a hearing? Does it have to be taken to a court elsewhere? Has that ever happened? In other places this might be considered a conflict of interest. Oh wait — that never happens on the shore. (3/20)

COME HERES AND BORN HERES, UNITE! — I have been hearing more and more of these two designators in the last five years than I have ever heard before. Folks, it’s time to stop this infighting and concentrate on the important things — like what’s going on in the Northampton County Planning Commission, what’s happening to the water quality in this county, how do we bring medical care to the area once the hospital moves, and who’s watching what’s happening at the Cape Charles Harbor to make sure it’s not stolen out from under us by the same group that wanted to run all the water there. As long as we are fighting with each other, these groups like the County Planning Commission prevail. Sure, we vote for and elect people that we know, grew up with, attend church with, and fish with, but that doesn’t mean that they’re looking out for us once they get elected or appointed. There’s the old saying that having character is doing the right thing when no one is watching — well, there’s another old saying about hiding in plain view when you’re doing wrong. It’s time to start looking at the recall procedures for a lot of these folks. I know that the shore hates change, but if we continue this infighting these commissions and committees will roll right over us. (3/15)

OPPOSES KIPTOPEKE RESTAURANT PLANS — Developer Bill Parr owns commercial property all over the county. Most of the properties have For Sale signs on them. He could put his take-out sandwich and beer shop on any one of them — without even having a public hearing — and nobody would complain. So why is he messing up a quiet residential neighborhood? (3/15)

RESPONSE (2) to “Stop Publishing Anonymous” — This is the only way we are finding out what’s happening in the area. Does anyone remember when the Eastern Shore News had its “Two Cents” column? It was a great way to communicate unvarnished information regarding what was happening on the shore. To the pundits of civility, I say that you make some good points but I trust the editors of the Cape Charles Wave to print what they feel is acceptable for public dissemination. The mere fact that the Wave is publishing your negative comments should be an indicator that you also have the power to express your opinions here. Do you honestly think people are going to sign their names if they are critiquing the places they work at like Bay Creek or Town Hall? I’ll take 2 of whatever you’re drinking, please. (3/5)

RESPONSE (3) to “Town Council: Steve Bennett Loses Showdown Over Parking” — There are no coincidences in the Town of Cape Charles. A few years ago Councilwoman Joan Natali printed all of the Northampton County court decisions regarding conflicts of interest on the three former councilmen in her wonderfully informative electronic newsletter. What was not printed but was later alleged was that once Bennett was laid off from Bay Creek he went to the Commonwealth’s attorney the next day (I believe in written form) asking him if he could now vote on Bay Creek issues. The question is, “if” that occurred — why? The only thing that stops this type of activity is FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE requirements. These forms should be filled out every year by Council members and key town employees who are engaged in purchasing services for the town. These are not bad men — just men who believed that what they were doing was correct. There’s nothing illegal with a personal agenda, but every elected official and town employee needs to be open about what they are doing. A conflict of interest can occur “at the mere appearance of one.” (3/4)

RESPONSE (2) to “Town Council: Steve Bennett Loses Showdown Over Parking” — It is also interesting that less than a year after Steve Bennett, Construction Manager at Bay Creek Resort and Club, received a letter from Town Manager Joe Vaccaro demanding that Bay Creek pay $21 million toward the new sewer treatment plant, Bennett was elected to Town Council and, along with fellow councilmen John Burdiss and Bruce Evans, orchestrated Vaccaro’s departure. The town has yet to see a penny of the money Vaccaro was seeking from Bay Creek. But now it’s 2015, and new Bay Creek owner Keyser-Sinclair now has the legal obligations contained in the Annexation Agreement. The town should endeavor (by court action if necessary) to collect the monies owed them on behalf of ALL Cape Charles taxpayers — Creekers and Townies ALIKE, Creekers and Townies UNITE! Keyser-Sinclair pay your bill! Is it really safe to presume that no current council members or town staff are on Keyser-Sinclair’s payroll? [CLICK to read Vaccaro’s letter to Bennett and related news story.] (3/3)

RESPONSE (1) to “Stop Publishing Anonymous” — NO! The Anonymous page does NOT need to be stopped. Freedom of speech gives the citizens the right to speak out and criticize what is wrong and to speak out positively about what is right. There is NO hurt caused the by the Anonymous column. I agree that Cape Charles is a wonderful place with kind and caring people, but those kind and caring people also stand up and speak out as to what is wrong and how to correct problems. (3/3)

FEBRUARY 2015

RESPONSE (1) to “Town Council: Steve Bennett Loses Showdown Over Parking” — It is interesting that Steve Bennett is against buying a lot on Front Street for $70,000 to access parking. Granted that is a ridiculous price that could have been much less or nothing if the town had asked for proffers from developer Patrick Hand — as Frank Wendell pointed out. But again it appears that town staff was looking out for the developer and not for the town. Wasn’t Steve Bennett the one who thought it was OK to spend $100,000 to purchase seven empty lots from Dickie Foster? Wasn’t Steve Bennett the one who had no problem buying the bank building on Front Street for $200,000, spending money that had been borrowed to pay for new well hook-ups? Wasn’t Steve Bennett the one who favored selling our historic old school in the park for $10 in the face of intense citizen opposition? And now Steve Bennett is concerned that the hapless taxpayers of Cape Charles will have to pay for another Panek-inspired boondoggle. Of course the town should have purchased the lots for parking and should not be renting property from the railroad. It is insane for a town to rent property and pay property tax for or to the owner. But we do need parking. The mismanagement continues. (2/26)

STOP PUBLISHING ANONYMOUS —  I wish I had words that could heal all the hurt that has been caused by your Anonymous column.  Cape Charles is a wonderful place filled with kind and caring people.  If the Wave would like to be a respected source of information, this really needs to stop. [Signed,] Nancy Daniel Vest (2/26)

RESPONSE (7) to “End of Innocence” — To the author of Response (6): I never said that the Town of Cape Charles would not exist without Bay Creek; the fact is Detroit still exists! The Town of Cape Charles now needs the money coming in from the “Creekers.” Could the town now even support one restaurant without Bay Creek? What is sad is all the bitching that goes on about the Creekers from the “Townies.” I bet the Townies outnumber the Creekers when it comes to eligible voters in the town elections! (Maybe the Wave could get those numbers.) So who is really to blame for all of the so called “problems” in the town if the town folk outnumber the Creekers? A lot of the homes in Bay Creek are second homes or investment properties, which means the owners cannot vote in local elections — but they have to pay taxes! The town sounds so divided when you read this trash on the Wave. What’s next — T-shirts that have either “Creeker” Or “Townie” on them? Maybe we should also have shirts that tell how much we pay in local taxes. It sounds like some in this town would like to have labels for everyone! Can’t we all just get along and enjoy this wonderful town? (2/26)

RESPONSE (6) to “End of Innocence” — To the author of Response (5): Cape Charles, incorporated in 1886, existed and no doubt would and could continue to exist just fine with or without Bay Creek. We just wish your developers (Keyser/Sinclair) would pay their fair share for the sewage treatment plant. Most Creekers think they discovered Cape Charles, and take credit for what is positive about our small town — which is a lot like a rooster crowing at the break of dawn and taking credit for the sun coming up. Contrary to popular belief, Dickie Foster and Chris Bannon did not discover Cape Charles, and Christopher Columbus did not discover America. There were already plenty of happy natives in both places who knew right where they were. (2/25)

THREE WORDS FOR BAY CREEK — Rock, Salt, and Sand. The roadway and sidewalks are dangerous. (2/25)

RESPONSE to “Bay Creek Price and Privilege” — That article in the GOSSIP section was very informative. I had no idea that these “land barons” were pulling such a scam. Three cheers for the Bay Creek residents who are not sitting still on this issue. It seems like most of this Bay Creek leadership came to the shore with the intention of misleading and misguiding people out of their money. Case in point: the new gym at Bay Creek was originally supposed to be a “free “gym near the tennis courts for the residents. My how things have changed with King Dickie and crew. (2/25)

RESPONSE (12) to “Dora Out the Door” — To the author of Response (8): The third label you were searching for regarding those who “Don’t live here all the time” may well be that of ILLEGAL VOTER in Cape Charles elections. Virginia Code 24.2-101 states: “Qualified voter” means a person who is a resident of . . . the precinct in which he offers to vote. “Residence” or “resident,” for all purposes of qualification to register and vote, means and requires both domicile and abode. To establish domicile, a person must live in a particular locality with the intent to remain. A place of abode is the physical place where a person dwells. Domicile is a term of legal art that can generally be proven by showing that one intends to remain by changing mail delivery, drivers licenses, car registrations, and tax filing addresses to the new home.” So have all our part-time friends who “Don’t live here all the time” who vote in town elections complied with the before-mentioned requirements for legal domicile? Have you registered your cars as personal property here in Cape Charles? On that point, town voters should also register and pay taxes in Cape Charles on their boats as well (Yacht Club) in order to again comply with the domicile definition of  state code. The Cape Charles treasurer and the Northampton County registrar and treasurer’s offices should cross reference voter registration lists with the personal property tax roll to insure both the legitimacy of local elections and that our town and county collect legitimate taxes owed our community as well. (2/24)

RESPONSE (5) to “End of Innocence” — To the author of Response (3) — “Hey Creekers”:  I would like to ask, where would Cape Charles be if Bay Creek hadn’t happened? I remember a small town on the Eastern shore that had no commerce and a good majority of the homes were boarded up before Bay Creek was built. Also, you sound like a middle school kid with your post. If you’re so jealous of Bay Creek why don’t you just buy a home there and enjoy what it has to offer? This childish name calling does nothing but hurt this great little town. I would like to have people want to move here to keep our property values up. If a potential home buyer or vacationer searches the Internet for “Cape Charles,” and the Cape Charles Wave comes up, it has got to make that person wonder what the hell is wrong with this town. Maybe “Hey Creekers” would like to go back to the good ol’ days of boarded up homes, no businesses, and no jobs! [Signed] CHIP MOORE (2/24)

RESPONSE (11) to “Dora Out the Door” — To the author of Response (8): You hit the nail right on the head with your post. You have got to love the big tough people that hide behind their keyboards as long as they are “anonymous.” [Signed] CHIP MOORE (2/24)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: By popular demand, we have begun including writers’ names in ANONYMOUS when they so request. Don’t worry — names are only printed on request!)

RESPONSE (10) to “Dora Out the Door” — The racially charged anonymous rants in Response (5) and (6) are belittling to a wonderful town and the citizens who live there. Why you should waste your time capitalizing ethnic groups in the Anonymous section of a local paper to make some point (do you have one?) is beyond me and my generation. I assume you’re older because of your racism and your obsession with money. (2/24)

DON’T BUY PUPPIES — I understand that the Wave Classified section is generally an open forum for the community for buying and selling, but please don’t advertise puppies for sale when we have animal control facilities on both sides of the bay that have to euthanize healthy, wonderful, and loving pets. Please encourage adoption of homeless animals by not permitting breeder ads. (2/24)

RESPONSE (9) to “Dora Out the Door” — About the time that former mayor Dora Sullivan was coming through the front door to the mayor’s office in 2008, Cape Charles had a real Town Manager named Joe Vaccaro who fought local corruption in the form of confronting Town Council members who had “conflicts of interest” with developers. Vaccaro (a former Marine) was soon at odds with the following councilmen and their voting records that benefited their friends in high places with deep pockets: John Burdiss had ties with Southport, owned by the Baldwins; Steve Bennett (now returned to Council) was project manager for Bay Creek, owned by Dickie Foster; and Bruce Evans had ties to Landmark Holdings, owned by Nimrod Tavi. Burdiss, Bennett, and Evans ultimately forced Vaccaro to resign from the Town Manager’s office in early 2009, citing that they had an “ineffective relationship” with Vaccaro, and the “special interest” floodgates have been wide open drowning the town in a sea of “back door” developer money and favors ever since. (2/22)

CAPE CHARLES ICE CAPADES — Does anyone see the irony, not to mention danger, in the fact that VDOT wants to widen the Old Cape Charles Road, take property away from the Bay Creek owners who live parallel to it, but have yet to clean the snow and ice from it? This ridiculous approach of not cleaning these roadways and waiting for the sun or rain to clear them speaks volumes. And people wonder why no one wants to live here on a full-time basis? Bay Creek isn’t much better; it looks like they are getting ready for the Ice Capades on the roadways and sidewalks. Safety has never been an issue on the shore. I guess that’s also part of the culture here. (2/22)

RESPONSE (8) to “Dora Out the Door” — ANONYMOUS has finally gone over the top, and I suggest it’s time to change the column to “Letters to the Editor” — with a signature attached. Too, too easy to be vicious while being too cowardly to sign your rant. [Signed] MARITA PATTERSON — damned thrice: Bay Creeker, Come Here, and Don’t Live Here All of the Time (I forget the label for that status). (2/21)
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: Along with essentially all other newspapers, the Wave allows anonymous criticism of public figures — in our case, local public figures. We have received the occasional anonymous submission directed against, for example, a neighbor’s messy yard, which we do not publish. And even the anonymous rants against public figures are moderated to maintain decency — something lacking in the online, unmoderated comments in major newspapers including the Washington Post.

RESPONSE (7) to “Dora Out the Door” —  Why all the interest in what this Sullivan family does? As I recall, she was voted into office a few times so if there was an issue why didn’t it surface then? The fact of the matter is, the most important person in this local government is the Town Manager, not the Mayor. The Town Manager sets the tone for the entire town hall operation. He or she must also act as the guardian for taxpayers’ monies, maintain the ethical oversight of everyone involved with town business including the Town Council, and not fall victim to the outside pressure or influences of people with money or clout. Over the last several years this town has been governed by special interest groups, and we haven’t had anyone in a leadership position with the fortitude to tell them “no.” It would be interesting if someone put together a matrix of all the Town Council members over the last 10 years and matched who they worked for, who they were associated with, who their family members are, and who the family members worked for and how they voted. That’s the real answer on what went wrong in this little town. Stop speculating, and connect the dots. There are people here after our harbor, pier, historical structures. and beach. (2/21)

RESPONSE (6) to “Dora Out the Door” — This is the Grexit (Greek exit) we are not worried about. If Panek follows suit, there may some hope for Cape Charles’ recovery. Those deals were downright sleazy. The way Cape Charles’ citizens were treated was abusive. Goodbye is too kind; the right words are unpublishable. (2/21)

RESPONSE (5) to “Dora Out the Door” — There is no denying that GOING GREEK has proven expensive and all too common here in Cape Charles. When Dora the Greek became Mayor in 2008 the town was approximately $2 million in debt. When she left office after two terms eight years later in 2014, the town was over $10 million in debt with record spending, hiring, water bill increases, tax increases, as well as several Back Door Sweetheart deals with a variety of developers. That’s $8 million of increased debt, or $1 million a year for each year in the office, which is a huge pain in the butt for the town’s taxpayers. She was once quoted as saying to someone who complained about the high utility bills and the hardship they created,” If you don’t like the water bills, then move.” There is no word yet on whether there will be a European Union-style bailout for the town’s Greek-style financial problems by all of Northampton County’s taxpayers . However, Cape Charles and Northampton County are collaborating on a POLISH-style PSA sewer pipe project that the former mayor was in favor of and both County Supervisors and Town Council members tout as the answer to their mutual economic woes. One sticking point in the negotiations on this bright idea is said to be a disagreement between the two parties on how many Cape Charles Council members it will take to change a light bulb in the $2.8 million project’s sewer pumping stations. (2/20)

RESPONSE (4) to “End of Innocence” — Is there ever a remote possibility that someone can post factual information on Bay Creek without having the green eyed jealous people in the town negatively responding? Cape Charles is one location not divided by fences and gates but ignorance and common courtesy for each other. (2/20)

RESPONSE (4) to “Dora Out the Door” — Does this mean Dora out the front door, or the back door? Or neither, because there is something else to sell? (2/20)

RESPONSE (3) to “Dora Out the Door” — Guess what? Dora’s not leaving, idiots. (2/19)

RESPONSE (3) to “End of Innocence”  Hey Creekers, has the high crime rate in your gated community got you stuck in Dickie Foster’s sand trap? Have you recently got the feeling you’ve been gated in with the riff-raff instead of having gated out the riff-raff? No security leading to insecurity? Vandalism and unreported assaults taking away the” Innocence” of the McMansion/Condo on the Golf Course experience and put you in the rough? Broken promises by the developer sounding like a broken record? Feel like you’ve been mugged every time you pay those Beach Club dues? Well don’t despair, there’s plenty of room for you right here in the Historic District of Cape Charles! Living next to some authentic local yokels in a Victorian era fixer upper while earning historic tax credits and enjoying the extra water pressure at no extra charge — now that’s Cape Charles living at its best. Our “Beach Club” is a real beach — and its FREE! If your golf cart breaks down, no problem — you can walk back to your house or walk to Kelly’s bar. Heck, you can even walk to church on Sunday and not have to pass by a gate house. The only concern about gates in our part of town is getting a pass to pass through those Pearly Gates after completing the back nine of life. So while Cape Charles’s finest perform their security checks you can enjoy your Social Security check with a new peace of mind by “moving on up to the north side of town” where the quality of life is up and the crime rate is down. (2/19)

RESPONSE (2) to “Dora Out the Door” — The former mayor, her husband, parents, children, best friend, dog, cat, high school sweetheart may be moving! And we care why? (2/19)

RESPONSE (1) to “Dora Out the Door” — Goodbye Dora. After destroying the park by being the driving force in the giveaway of our historic school you are moving. I guess you will go across the bay to live and leave us to face the consequences of your decision. Again, GOODBYE! (2/19)

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE — God bless all our town employees, police officers, and our mail deliverers! You are the best and we appreciate all that you do. Stay safe. Each of you is a blessing to our community! (2/18)

RESPONSE (2) to “End of Innocence” —  I hear what you are saying and unfortunately Bay Creek has gone through similar instances. A lot goes unreported here like an assault that occurred a few summers ago, vandalism to some neighborhoods, and a theft that you can find on Facebook that happened a few years ago. The Cape Charles Police do a good job but they stop their shifts sometime around 2 a.m. (manpower issues). Besides that, Bay Creek is a private community. A few years ago Bay Creek hired the County Sheriff to patrol the area only after some thefts took place a work sites. Prior to that they actually had a Bay Creek roving patrol. Now Bay Creek has a “gate house,” not “security.” They in fact did away with the latter title yet they still advertise this area as a “gated community,” implying there’s actually security here. What a joke. (2/18)

RESPONSE (1) to “End of Innocence”  — Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby sure penned a beautiful song  when they wrote “The End Of The Innocence,” but I think Henley’s concern was and is more for our collective possessions such as clean water, air, and protection of public and historic properties, etc., — such as his Walden Woods Project (http://www.walden.org). Here in Cape Charles, while “trusting townies” can and do fall victim to “people with bad intentions,” our End of the Innocence was symbolized by the corruption of our local government in 2012 with the “theft” of the Historic Cape Charles School in our park with plenty of “Lyin’ Eyes” on both sides of the tracks looking the other way. The senseless “sale” and destruction of the 100-year old auditorium that was converted into a “gymtorium” while Jean Collins was principal at Cape Charles High School in the mid-’50s has thus robbed the future youth and all citizens of a unique “Piece of Eden.” The lies and back room manipulation by our mayor, council, and town managers should not be forgotten least we risk repeating some very costly unlearned local history. When then-mayor Dora Sullivan wrote a letter as a scare tactic claiming the cost to repair a simple brick wall was $228,000 when in fact it was repaired for $1,000 (as recently reported by the Wave), people with common sense can begin to see the magnitude of the fraud.
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie

And lie they did, so when the town decided to pay its lawyers to push through and cover up the Echelon Resources scandal instead of telling the truth about a multitude of factors concerning the property, or illegally withholding funds to preserve our historic asset (Building Maintenance Code) or not even telling the truth as to which direction the front door of the school faces (“Don’t Answer That”), no lie was too outrageous for the Machiavellian followers of J. David McCormick, Bob Panek, and their friends at Town Hall and about town. Cape Charles is still a great town in spite of this sad chapter, but forever scarred.
Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us

Whether you are bemoaning the personal loss by theft of a golf cart, TV, or the expense of a security system — or trying woefully to rationalize the illegal sale and rezoning of a piece of our small town’s significant and historic public property amid big city style corruption,
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence.
(2/17)

END OF INNOCENCE — Recent events in our quaint little Eastern Shore town of Cape Charles put me in mind of Don Henley’s hit song, “This is the End of the Innocence.” Cape Charles is the place where summer means produce stands that operate on the honor system. The only crime here was kids snagging bikes out of driveways or off porches, only to be abandoned later where someone could find them. Oh my, how the world has changed. It began last year with the theft of a neighbor’s golf cart. At first I thought that perhaps some out-of-towners seized on an opportunity after noticing how trusting we townies are. I am so accustomed to neighbors looking out for each other on my street, I absolutely did not want to believe someone residing in Cape Charles could do such a thing. Then the unthinkable happened: An honest to God burglary in Cape Charles. A small cottage near the beach was broken into and their television was stolen. I know that people with bad intentions can reside anywhere, but it just changed things. We are considering disabling our golf cart when we leave town. We are thinking of getting a security system. It truly is the end of the innocence. (2/13)

RESPONSE (2) to “Wayne Creed Takes on the Historic Review Board”  — Don’t worry about  Cape Charles and the Historic District Review Board with regard to developers getting a break. The current Review Board chairman would not uphold HDRB guidelines on the Old School project because they might interfere with the developer’s business plan. (See past meeting minutes). Cape Charles is wide open to developers, since the Town Council is controlled by the Creekers. (2/11)

MORE BAY CREEK BLUES — I’m so glad the Bay Creek crew clear-cut around the ponds in the winter, leaving the wildlife exposed to the elements to fend for themselves with these bitter cold winds. Isn’t it against the law to hack down marshlands and cat tails? I watch the poor blue herons standing out there, where they hunt on a daily basis, with no protection. Thank you Bay Creek for once again making your own rules. (2/10)

RESPONSE (1) to “Wayne Creed Takes on the Historic Review Board”  — As someone who has been waiting on the sidelines and considering an investment in Cape Charles, the type of thinking in “Wayne Creed Takes on the Historic Review Board” is very scary. Cape Charles will require an invesment-friendly culture to survive and thrive, and the Historic Review Board acted appropriately in this situation. Someone spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a street which needs investment — and deviating slightly from plan — is not only a non-issue but rather an incentive for investors who are already fearful of an insular town not willing to negotiate. Most investors have set budgets for a project, and a slight overrun caused by external factors can wreak havoc and scare off the risk-taking culture needed to restore this town to its glory. (2/9)

AQUA RESTAURANT MAKEOVER – I wish everyone good luck at the Aqua Restaurant. It’s a nice place but failed years ago. Why did it fail? When Dickie Foster and his merrymakers first opened the Cabana Club and Aqua, they really didn’t want the local clientele in there. They wanted to cater to the Virginia Beach, the Maryland, and Florida boating crowd and the visiting golfers. That’s not something the local people have forgotten. Does anyone remember when they were building the marina and there was a promise to set some docks aside for the local watermen? Whatever happened to that promise? This “elitist attitude “has never gone over well in this area and never will. (2/8)

RESPONSE (3) to “Old School Vacation Rentals” — So much for even pretending to develop decent housing for the people of the Shore. The so-called apartments may in the end rent by the day or by the hour, and the town leadership responsible for the “sale” will disappear into irrelevance after shepherding through a cheap hotel in the center of town. Please continue to experience a little revulsion (but get over the desire to hang anyone in effigy) as you remember the cronyism and manipulation around the “sale” of the high school. (2/5)

JANUARY 2015

RESPONSE (2) to “Old School Vacation Rentals” — Old school vacation rentals? What happened to the plan to actually have suitable apartments for the full-time residents who try to make a decent living for themselves and families in Cape Charles?I’ve never seen such pretentious people who have set the rental market rates so high that you would think you’re living in NYC. This is Cape Charles, people! This is why young families can’t raise their children here in this peaceful, beautiful, safe town. If there was decent housing, young adults would want to raise their families here. Stupid idea! Why not use the auditorium for a decent clubhouse for the tenants? Maybe a mixed-use area with a gym, conference room, and club house to rent for parties. (1/31)

RESPONSE to “Addams Family House” — What a great story about a wonderful old home. It’s nice to see something positive happening with the structure. This house had long been owned by a now-former Cape Charles councilman who let it sit there in ruins. As I recall there was a great deal of controversy over the condition of this house, especially since he sat on the Planning Commission. He was well aware of the fines that were being levied on other citizens for not following building codes and having an unsafe building. Three cheers for the town for moving this issue forward and getting it fixed. (1/30)

THE CAPE CHARLES CONTINUUM — Several years ago a former town manager for Cape Charles initiated a personnel and wage study for the town. He was gathering the same information at less than one third the cost the town is paying for a similar study now. What happened to that study? I suspect that it was canned as soon as he departed; after all, the results might have forced the “get along” gang to make a decision. Cape Charles has some pretty intelligent citizens residing here.  We have retired business people, lawyers, doctors, teachers, police officers, engineers, etc. Why doesn’t the town form a volunteer committee of citizens to address the personnel and wage issues? What better people to investigate, correlate, determine, and make a recommendation on the money/taxes that the town is spending than the citizens themselves ? $10,000 on a wage study and $99,000 for cutting grass? Ridiculous. (1/28)

RESPONSE (1) to “Old School Vacation Rentals” (See GOSSIP) — What next, are we going to have tour buses parked in our quiet neighborhoods? It seems they are hell-bent on building parking lots in residential areas and destroying our historic neighborhoods. Since the Old School developer was allowed to put a parking lot in front of the building (which is against the historic guidelines), others have done it as well (example: Heyward Hall at Tazewell and Strawberry St). So I guess it is OK now to build a parking lot in your front yard to park your car or boat. (1/27)

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING (3) — Not only is the town paying $33,000 a year to the lawn contractor to cut grass, the contract is for 3 years. That is a total of $99,000. That is a lot of money that the town could have saved by having one of their employees cut the town’s grass. Does the town realize that the population in town (which is less than 900 people) are largely senior citizens and that many are on fixed income? When will the town stop foolishly spending our taxpayers’ money? LOWER OUR TAXES! STOP SPENDING! (1/27)

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING (2) — Regarding the $33,000 for cutting grass, I agree 100 percent with the writer [below]. Why is Cape Charles paying a contractor to cut grass? One would think that with all the controversy over the number of employees they have for a 900-resident town they would have addressed this issue. We need a fully manned police department, a fully manned water department, a finance officer and an assistant who also collects bills, a town manager, a  town clerk and MAYBE a part-time assistant clerk for town minutes, a harbor master (ours does an outstanding job) and assistant, with some part-time people during the summer, a public works department that rakes the beach, cuts town grass, picks up garbage (which right now is farmed out too), reads water meters, and occasionally repairs pipes. The rest of the staff is non-essential. My recommendation is to trim the staff and pay a better salary to the people you keep. If Cape Charles taxpayers are paying 22 percent of the total Northampton County taxes, isn’t it time we stopped duplicating their services and forced them to do their job here? (1/26)

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING (1) — Why did the Town Council contract out cutting the town’s grass? The town has over 32 employees, and certainly there is one person who could cut the town’s grass to save money. The town could have saved $33,000. That would have paid an employee’s salary and NOT a contractor. If the acting town manager can’t figure this out, why not ask for citizens’ input on how the town’s grass could be cut to save money? (1/25)

RESPONSE (5) to “Town Water” — Maybe so — the businessman and developer, J. David McCormack, may live check to check like a lot of us. But I’m sure his working check is a lot more than my once a month fixed income check. Remember the town gave him the old school building and property, which had a tax assessment of $920,000. Because of the property value of the old school, he was able to get a very big loan to make 17 one-bedroom apartments. That loan then was able to finance the apartments and also give him administrative costs to pay himself. Plus the town also gave him $41,000 from earthquake insurance money. Again, why do I have to pay for water and he does NOT? What is wrong is wrong! To the town: Do the right thing and send him a water bill. Don’t you think citizens’ opinions are very important, and this is what makes Cape Charles a better place to live? (1/21)

GAS PRICES — With gas prices dipping to such low prices ($1.92 -$2.00 gal.) in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, I was surprised to find gas at $2.19 and up on the Eastern Shore! Can I at least get a kiss first? (1/17)

RESPONSE (4) to “Town Water” — Who is to say how wealthy J. David McCormack is?  Maybe he lives check to check like a lot of us.  Seems that if some of the people making comments on here would spend their time and energy on themselves instead of envying someone else Cape Charles would be a more inviting place to be. (1/17)

QUESTIONS ON BAY SHORE CONCRETE – Someone made a great point; what about Skanska (Bay Shore Concrete)? Northampton County often bragged about it being the number-1 business in the county but it’s Cape Charles that bears the burden of it, and what has it done for the town? How much tax does it pay the town, and has that money gone up, down, or remained the same over the last 10 years? I remember that the former owner of Impact Fitness was taxed “per machine” — is Bay Shore taxed on all of their equipment too or did they duck that tax by claiming the equipment was from another site? And how many people working there actually live in the town? I’d say it’s less than 5%, so we lose that money yet we bear the burden of the plant being here with noise, dust, and traffic. Finally, the town is pretty strict on this “dark sky” rule, yet that place is like a flare at midnight every night. No offense, but hasn’t the town learned from their mistakes at Bay Creek that you just can’t trust these people to do what’s right and financially sound for the town?  If business is getting better for them, what will they offer Cape Charles? (1/16)

RESPONSE (3) to “Town Water” –The water quality in the Town of Cape Charles is nearly comparable to that of third world countries.  Why do we put up with it?  Pathetic! (1/16)

RESPONSE (2) to “Town Water” — Lower the water bills for everybody — they are way too high! The town should have taken the $10,000 wage study and transferred the money to a water study, and then lowered our water bills. A wage study is NOT important. The town employees are already making a good salary. The town, I understand, is still not charging for water at the old school. Being as the town has not yet hired a town manager, the mayor needs to step in to make sure the developer, J. David McCormack, gets a monthly water bill. He is a wealthy man and I am on a fixed income. Why do I have to pay for water and he does not? I am sick and tired of this kind of treatment. (1/16)

LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD — Several years ago I spoke to some town officials regarding the Little League field. Apparently the field became an issue after the town pressed Bay Creek on the water issue and the monies they owed Cape Charles (according to two of these good folks). I wish they would come forward now and make that known publicly if that information is correct. After all, no elected officials have to worry about getting invited to the Bay Creek Christmas Parties any longer.  (1/11)

CAPE CHARLES BILGE (AKA “WATER”) — I just finished reading the letter the town was required to send to the public regarding this water situation. I’m stunned that the Mayor and the Public Works Department haven’t called a public meeting regarding this issue. This is s public safety issue! When did they know about it and what are the details? Is this the same water the town wants to deliver to other communities? Mayor Proto, we need answers now. My suggestion is that you get together with your Public Works Department and come up with a briefing you can present to the public. My next call is to the State EPA. (1/9)

RESPONSE TO “Town Water” — We’re paying a whole lot for something that is barely better than sewage. The winner here is Skanska (Bayshore Concrete), who is paying nothing for their high-quality ground water while polluting our environment. I count here at least two ways in which the Cape Charles tax payers are getting screwed; in fact, “screwed” appears to be a permanent state of being for the taxpayers of Cape Charles.  (1/8)

TOWN WATER — Dated December 22 and postmarked January 5, today we received a letter from the Town of Cape Charles in regard to the water we consume, bathe in, cook with and use for brushing our teeth. I can’t tell you what a comfort it is to receive a letter informing me that the Town is working hard to reduce a possible health hazard — its drinking water. Of course, the letter leaves out any information as to the levels of THM or the levels permitted by the VDEQ and the EPA. Also omitted is the length of time the levels were in violation, when it occurred, or how many times it has occurred. The letter gives an analogy of how much water over a “70 year span” one must consume before they experience side effects — however, it does not list the source of this “fact.” I could find no reference to this criteria as described on the DEQ or EPA web site. There are four contaminants that make up the THM level — chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform, yet the levels of each are also omitted. C’mon Cape Charles, quit pretending you’re meeting your obligations by sending a letter informing me it would take 70 years for me to get sick from the water. Why worry when I won’t live another 70 years, right? No more games — just give us the data because it can’t be found online. (1/7)

COUNTY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR — The Economic Development Director has been employed by the taxpayers for several years now. What businesses has he brought to the county? What jobs has he created besides his own and his staff? (1/7)

RESPONSE to “Whither Bay Creek Golf?” — The county Economic Development Director gets $2000 a week to market the county.  Advertising golf packages is part of his job.  How much help is he giving to the new Yacht Center?  Any? (1/6)

WHITHER BAY CREEK GOLF? — The Economist magazine (CLICK) says: “Only a few years ago some golf gurus forecast that the sport would grow even more, as baby boomers retired and flocked to the fairways. They were wrong. Last year, about 25 million Americans played golf, 18% fewer than did so in 2006. . . . Although still played by men and women, including business people hoping to bond over more than lunch, golf does not hold the same appeal for the young and minorities, groups who will determine its future health. In recent years more citizens have abandoned than taken up the game.” So, what is the forecast in Bay Creek? To forestall or even turn around any downward trends, perhaps a trio of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Town of Cape Charles, and Bay Creek might form a branding strike force to offer total package excursions/events to a golfing family. Cape Chuck can’t afford to have two world class golf courses plowed into soybean fields. (1/4)

DECEMBER 2014

PRAYER FOR 2015 — Dear God, please bless Northampton County (and her defenders) in 2015. While we may be the geographic tail of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, we surely wag the entirety. (12/31)

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION — To pay more attention to the town’s increasingly bad spending habits, so the citizens have more money to keep for themselves — especially senior citizens that are on fixed income. (12/31)

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION (2) — Eat this, NOT that! Hope to lose some weight! (12/31)

RESPONSE TO “Response to Bay Creek Autobahn” — Sarcasm is usually a way out of dealing with a fact, so I think the “middle-aged woman” (who’s most likely one of the area’s usual male pundits) should consider this: what if you, your kids, or grand kids were on this roadway biking or running? It wouldn’t be so funny then, would it? (12/31)

RESPONSE TO “Bay Creek Autobahn” — Bay Creek — the Monte Carlo of the South: One of the great fun things in Bay Creek this winter is to floor your accelerator through the winding roads. There is barely anyone around, no deer (thank you, nice hunters, for removing these bouncy obstacles), and no police. This winter in Bay Creek, 24 is a state of mind for this middle-aged woman. (12/22)

BAY CREEK AUTOBAHN —  I was hoping that once the summer ended the traffic would slow down here on the Bay Creek Autobahn. Unfortunately, I think it has gotten worse. We deal with golf carts on the roadway, bikes, dog walkers in the median, joggers, the occasional skateboarder, and walkers. Except for some of the work golf carts, most of these people are attentive and clearly visible; however, the real problem is the excessive speeding — most of it from the Bay Creek employees who believe they have diplomatic immunity from the 24 mph speed limit and stop signs. Maybe it’s time for speed bumps before someone gets injured or killed? (12/20)

TIME TO END THE PANEK ERA — Can anyone explain why [acting Town Manager Bob Panek] is still in office? I don’t get why he is still presiding over anything. The new Mayor is on to him, and so are we. (12/18)

COUNTY BOARD NOT RESPONSIVE — After last week’s Northampton County Board of Supervisors meeting, attended by over 150 very concerned, verbally concise and expressive taxpaying citizens, it’s very clear that the Board, with one exception, Mr. Granville Hogg, does not represent the majority of the citizens. It’s also very clear that they are motivated by and represent a few developers, special interest engineering, real estate, and construction groups. These people, including County Administrator Katie Nunez and (strangely absent) Director of Economic Development Charles McSwain, are incompetent, wasteful, and unresponsive. They need to be replaced — now. The longer they rule over the decision-making process and purse strings of this county, the deeper into debt the county will slide. These people have no successful track record of efficiency or completed past projects, quite the opposite in fact. They sit in their seats of power because they were elected or appointed to their positions. It’s time to reverse that process so that progress in Northampton can be made in this time of economic scarcity and what appears to be a national breakdown on all levels of honesty in government and flagrant violations of US Constitutional intention and mandate. (12/18)

LUCKY OLD SCHOOL DEVELOPER – Mega kudos for the well written article on the situation at the old Cape Charles School. I never knew all of that “backroom” stuff occurred. Sad to read that there are adults here still bogged down with this “come here” and “born here” nonsense. Right now we are leaderless at Northampton County and the Board of Supervisors is probably the worst it has been in years. But whose fault is that? The public voted them in and the public should now take the steps to remove them. The Town of Cape Charles? Years ago you had what was considered to be an open, transparent, and working government that sought public input. That collapsed  and you hired the “get along, go along gang.” Now you reap what you sowed; stop complaining. (12/17)

RESPONSE TO “Pave Paradise, Put Up A Parking Lot” (See GOSSIP) — The news about the pecan tree being slated for destruction on Pine Street is very disturbing. To sacrifice a stately, old, and highly productive tree for anything like parking spaces is an example of lack of insight and greed. And I question the authenticity of anyone quoting almost $800 to give an estimate about the tree. What is going on here? It sounds like people in businesses have the opportunity to really cash in big time whenever the town council requests job estimates. The pecan tree should be saved. Four parking spaces cannot justify the felling of an old, recognized-as-significant tree. Its removal will be a tremendous loss to the town. (12/15)

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND COME-HERES — Come-heres appear to be a problem for the Northampton County Board of Supervisors: they have hired two come-here, untrained or certified county employees that have apparently taken over their minds and judgment. Our representatives apparently have decided these come-heres are their choice of Kool-Aid. The Supervisors still have yet to explain their decision to blindly move ahead with no knowledge or expectations as to the possible consequences of this unknown path proposed neither by the local community nor by their own trained, if not certified, officials. It’s long past time for the community to perform an “intervention” before an unresponsive governmental body drinks their Kool-Aid — whipped up by those who know little of the Eastern Shore and with someone else’s agenda! (12/12)

RESPONSE To “Where’s the Public Works Department?” — With the town employing 32 or more employees, someone in Public Works knows how to cut grass. I know kids who are mowing grass. There is NO reason why the town can’t buy proper lawn equipment to do the job themselves. The town had a wage study. The Town Manager should do a job performance study in every department! We are paying taxes for people to work in this town. Just say NO to lawn contractors! (12/8)

WHERE’S THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT? I just saw where the Town of Cape Charles is soliciting for a company to cut the grass, etc. I have to ask: why isn’t the Public Works Department cutting the grass in public areas? The amount of money the town is paying every year to cut the grass might be saved by purchasing lawn machines. Tell me again how many people the town employs with the PWD? (12/2)

NOVEMBER 2014

ARE YOU THANKFUL? — We need to take time at Thanksgiving to thank the Lord for family, friends, and good days we have. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (11/26)

DEAR REDSKINS FANS — I know what you are thinking after the somewhat poor performance of our beloved Redskins. You may, like the Redskins haters, be focusing only on the negatives: the sacks, the interceptions, the penalties, the fumbles, the missed tackles, the missed blocks, the poor backfield play. But, after thinking about the game, I think what I saw was a turnaround for the team which will result in winning the Eastern Division and a slot in the playoffs. No, I am not suggesting that you order your Superbowl tickets yet. But let me point out the positives that give me such optimism:
— All team members showed up for the game;
— Most coaches remained on the sideline until halftime;
— There was some tackling;
— There was some blocking;
— There was some running;
— There was some passing;
— Most players returned to the sideline after halftime;
— Some players on the bench stopped texting to watch the game;
— One cheerleader remained until the end of the game;
— Only 3 fans, a season low, lighted themselves on fire screaming “I can’t watch anymore”;
— Another season low, only 15 fans burned Dan Snyder in effigy in the parking lot during tailgating;
— Some fans were in the stands at the end of the game, although they had passed out and were carried out to their cars;
— RG III said he and some members of the team will try to improve (but he did not cross his heart).
If that does not pump you up for the next game, just switch to the Giants and shut up!
Sent by Thomy (I am quite content doing very little slowly) from Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Saltwater Virginia, where there is nothing to do and we do it all day long. (11/17)

GROUND WATER DEPLETION — Shari Finkelstein has a story that will be airing this Sunday night (November 16) on 60 Minutes. It’s about the frightening depletion of groundwater around the world (with a particular focus on California), and a NASA satellite that ironically has provided a clearer picture from space of what’s happening with water underground. As always, it’s the Lesley Stahl segment, and probably a 2-parter. (11/15)

OCTOBER 2014

PRICE INCREASE — Has anyone noticed that our Bay Creek Communications, now known as Chesapeake Bay Communications, went up a little over a buck? A small fee but nonetheless everything in Cape Charles seems to be going up except the customer service. The nickel & dime mentality here is only funny if you have the money and patience to put up with all the nonsense. This reminds me of the town’s water increases; it just never seems to end here in what I heard one lady affectionately call CAPE CHAOS. (10/24)

WHILE WAVE WAS SLEEPING — A well-deserved hibernation slumber to you! And yet, while you were sleeping, the soccer goals disappeared from Central Park. Is there another ethnic group that the Town needs to exclude by taking away those goals? (10/22)

POLICE MONITORING — Is there a reason that two police are monitoring the far end of Bay Avenue near Jefferson every weekend between 8:30 and 10 at night? If there is a major problem at this end of town, I need to be notified by the town about what I need to look for and be alarmed about. (10/5)

SEPTEMBER 2014

RESPONSE TO “Will Panek Pledge Allegiance to PSA?” (See GOSSIP) — This PSA issue isn’t something that just happened to occur. It has been festering for years and is indirectly related to two issues: 1) Bay Creek not paying their fair share of the water bills, as per the 1991 Agreement, and 2) a prominent family who desperately wanted to take over control of the region’s water thus controlling growth and money. Panek is an intelligent fellow but the politics of Bay Creek and the money-infused persistence of these rich folks were simply too much for him to control. The town wasted a lot of time, energy, money, and good people on their pursuit of Bay Creek’s indebtedness and listening to the elongated dribble of a rich family attempting to gain more personal control of the area via water. Cape Charles is in desperate need of a strong Town Manager who will stand up to these financial bullies. My greatest fear is that these pirates will attempt to eventually take over the Town Harbor. Most of the people living here can be purchased for a ham sandwich and a beer. Thank you Cape Charles Wave for “connecting the dots” in your paper. It might not prevent these things from happening but at least slows them down such that people are reading and watching now. (9/27)

RESPONSE (6) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” – I’m with Mr. Creed on this one. This kill the messenger attitude is plain dumb. He might have an agenda, and I believe he’s entitled to one. In case you didn’t know, personal agendas are ruling Cape Charles. None of the “bright minds” running the town thought about beach safety until this drowning, so give Mr. Creed a break. And if you’re on Town Council, it’s time for you to wake up! (9/26)

RESPONSE (5) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” – The town of Cape Charles seems bent on dragging tourists into town to spend their money. The powers that be spend loads of money on everything else yet they never even thought about are the beaches actually safe? Seems like it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is. Put up the floating ropes, hire a couple of lifeguards, and stop people from bringing glass bottles onto the beach, for a start. Yes, Mr. Creed was in the fight to save the school. So was I and all that happened was the town totally ignored what the people wanted and gave the school to a developer. This developer is so credible he doesn’t even have an office. Now the school will be “1” bedroom apartments. Yippee! The “powers that be” gave away the historic school, “sold” a historic street, destroyed the basketball court, and “claimed” there was no money to renovate the building. Within minutes they bought the bank to make a library. The library could have been in the community center, along with the police, the town offices, and still would have had plenty of room for the actual community center. Now who looks stupid? I am not afraid to leave my name either — DEBORAH BENDER (9/26)

RESPONSE (4) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” — Mr. Creed is a thoughtful and sometimes provocative citizen with a keen intellect. His agenda is the same agenda every citizen of the small town of Cape Charles should have — responsible government and accountability. The people in our community with real “duties” are first and foremost our elected and appointed officials — especially our police officers. What a moronic world the author of response (3) must live in, where the average citizens bear a larger civic duty than the officials they elect to lead. Go figure. Yes, “just laugh” — because the office of the Mayor and Town Council are an ongoing joke. The most recent example: What action has the Mayor and Town Council taken SINCE the drowning of a child to increase public safety at the beach? Instead, Mayor Proto is forming a citizens committee to review regulations concerning DOGS on the beach. You can’t make this kind of buffoonery up! A child drowns on Cape Charles beach and our elected officials’ most immediate concern is about DOGS on the beach — as well as furthering a policy of CHICKENS in everyone’s backyard instead of PUBLIC SAFETY at the BEACH! Mr. Creed is right to rant about such idiocy. Maybe our underpaid planner should plan increased safety at the beach. Maybe our underpaid event coordinator should walk down to the beach from the library and coordinate some swimming lessons. Maybe our underpaid police officers should sometimes patrol the beach and boardwalk on foot. Maybe our overpaid Mayor and Town Council should take a hard look at this issue that the provocative Mr. Creed has brought to our attention whether we like it or not. So it seems, some take offense at being accused of “having blood on your hands” — but not so much as to demonstrate that they have no brains in their head. Laugh that off. (9/26)

RESPONSE (3) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” — Mr. Creed finds yet another excuse to draw attention to his own agenda and rehash his ongoing feud with the town. I usually just laugh at his latest attempt to point fingers, but to use the death of an innocent child as the latest excuse is disgraceful. What’s worse is that Mr. Creed was apparently well aware of the dangers “many summers ago.” He had a duty to “point out the dangers” to the town and ensure they followed through with appropriate signage. Apparently Mr. Creed’s priority was to ensure “Community Center Now” signs were prominently displayed in the town, alerting visitors to a presumably far more pressing danger. Mr. Creed, you had precious little credibility prior to this thinly veiled rant. Now you have none. Before the facts of this terrible incident are known, rather than accuse us of having blood on our hands, take a long, hard look at your own. (9/25)

RESPONSE (5) TO “Mayor Proto Flip-Flops on County Sewage Issue” – Possible solution to the question of allowing chickens to be raised in town could be to allow town residents to raise them on the lots the town bought from “Trickie” Dickie Foster. The town could borrow more money to buy state of the art chicken coops with sewer hookups to the planned Route 13 sewer line extension, thereby solving the chicken waste problem and generating more sewer treatment revenue. This would be a win-win situation for Bob Panek and Cape Charles chicken huggers, and as a bonus allow Mayor Proto to proclaim in the next election, “a chicken in every pot.” (9/23)

RESPONSE (2) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” — Wayne, you are right on the money with your analysis of misplaced priorities in Cape Charles. Even before your time here, Town Council members were cheap dates, beside themselves whenever they were wined and dined by Dickie Foster. It is no surprise to any of us that they continue to sell to the lowest bidder. But they might want to heed your warning and take some safety measures at the beach. How reckless to have no signs, no markers, no lifeguards.. Another accident and word will spread about the beach on VRBO and other online communities. Then the Council’s recent laughable expenses and gimmicks will seem even more frivolous. Wayne, I am speaking for many when I say that we are in awe of your activism on behalf of town citizens and your courage. (9/23)

RESPONSE (1) TO “Drowning Might Have Been Prevented” — It would have been nice if your and others’ concerns had been expressed BEFORE the child’s death. How many times have you or others gone to a Council meeting and spoken about beach safety signs?  Zero,  I bet. Monday morning is easy. (9/23)

WHERE’S McSWAIN? — Where is Mr. McSwain spending tax payer dollars this week? Rumor has it in Canada. How much business had been brought in to Northampton County during his tenure as a result of these boondoggles? His challenge is admittedly mighty — what business would locate where the schools are in such abysmal shape? But how much money could be saved to help the schools without funding the economic development director’s position? (9/19)

RESPONSE (4) TO “Mayor Proto Flip-Flops on County Sewage Issue” — All poop jokes aside, why can’t these people, Town Council included, be content retiring in their geriatric community without running it and ruining it for the rest of us who still have a few years ahead of us here on the Shore? Don’t you people have more important things to do, like estate planning? (9/19)

RESPONSE (3) TO “Mayor Proto Flip-Flops on County Sewage Issue” — I very much enjoyed your creative comment/opinion [below]. Mine and urine match completely! (9/19)

RESPONSE (2) TO “Mayor Proto Flip-Flops on County Sewage Issue” — As if Cape Charles isn’t already full of it, it looks like the Panek sewer-pipe dream will become a manure nightmare; if the Wastewater Guru and his Fecal Minded Followers get their way it could already be a dung deal. Nobody seems to give a crap if the town loses its drugstore and other businesses because of this stinking boondoggle so long as the PSA gets to do its business. As the Wave reports, acting town manager and PSA member Bob Panek will say anything to get funding for the flatulent PSA project to increase excrement importation into Cape Charles. So ex-lax people, and take note to the sound of a symphony of toilets flushing your hard-earned tax money down the poop pipe. By the time the real reeking financial facts, figures, and feces hit the proverbial fan, all of Cape Charles will be up number-two creek without a paddle, in deep do-do constipating how they were duped into their septic situation. (9/18)

RESPONSE (1) TO “Mayor Proto Flip-Flops on County Sewage Issue” — I wonder if our politicos have a real grasp on the big picture.  The recent climate change report, http://downloads.usgcrp.gov/NCA/technicalinputreports/Burkett_Davidson_Coasts_Final_.pdf shows that the Eastern Shore of Virginia will be greatly impacted.  Why would anyone ever consider using the new sewer plant in Cape Charles to take sewage from Route 13?  Would it not be wiser to build one in Cheriton where water infiltration and the like would be greatly reduced?  Having a sewage plant directly on the coast does not seem to make sense. (9/17)

RESPONSE (6) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked”  After reading the comments about the Springsted compensation plan for Cape Charles, I wonder why Exmore was left off the list of towns that are supposed to be competitors in a regional marketplace for municipal employees. Looks like Onancock and Chincoteague up in Accomack County didn’t have time for your survey. I guess Exmore’s invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Just so you know, we have water and wastewater departments just like Cape Charles has. We also just hired two former Cape Charles police officers. How many of your policemen, or for that matter any other employees, have the other towns on your list hired away from you? Exmore has a population of 1,449 year-round residents which makes us, EXMORE, the largest town in Northampton County and ‘The treasure of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.” (9/11)

RESPONSE (5) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked” – Most working men and women in Northampton County, including watermen, contractors, farmers, storekeepers, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, merchants, etc., work hard all year long and don’t make the salaries the Town of Cape Charles employees are already earning today. Plus, they don’t get the health and retirement benefits the town gives. And they sure don’t get all the holidays the town gives. Christmas came on a Wednesday last year, which they got off, plus Tuesday because it was Christmas Eve, plus Monday because why spoil a five-day break? That’s more days off than even the federal government gives. I’m glad the town can do that for its employees, but not many independent workers can afford to take it that easy. Of course, very few working men or women actually live in the Town of Cape Charles — including those who work for the town. (9/11)

RESPONSE (4) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked” —  I think the Cape Charles Mayor and Town Council should do a utility and tax rate study (without spending $8,400) to compare our town to similar towns (like Onancock and Chincoteague) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Comparing sleepy Cape Charles to the city of Franklin? Really? We should also ask Springsted (the public sector advisors who authored the study) for a refund for this hollow effort. It doesn’t take an Einstein or $8,400 to figure out that if you compare Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore to towns across the bay with higher costs of living plus larger operations near metropolitan areas you will get higher salaries. However, with studies like this we will soon be catching up with that high cost of living. With the town council placing an ever increasing financial burden on the average taxpayer in this town, it makes you wonder just who the council represents — the citizens or the municipal workers union? There has been NO discussion as to how we will pay for salary increases and more personnel that could easily total upwards of $250,000. Will we make cuts elsewhere to offset new spending? Raise TAXES? BORROW more to add to our $10 million debt? This is just the kind of irresponsible government you get when you elect people based on their goofy popularity instead of people who have real business experience and common sense. “Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” (Ronald Reagan). Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” H.L. Mencken said the same thing, but better: “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.” Well it looks like it’s time to pull out your wallet again, Cape Charles. You deserve it and you must like it also. (9/10)

RESPONSE (3) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked” — If I turned in an audit report without benchmarking like entities, I’d be ashamed. Seriously! Looking at the list of salaries, I can see three positions that seem underpaid to me. First, think of who serves you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis — who actually helps you feel happy, safe, and served in our little slice of heaven? For me, it is the Harbor Master, Chief of Police, and the Librarian. I say up their salaries before all others — these are the three individuals who inform my quality of life and they should be rewarded for it. (9/9)

RESPONSE (2) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked” — When I saw this headline in the Wave I thought it was the April Fool’s edition! I have never read something that made so little sense than this so called “study.” Did the town really pay this guy to come up with this information? And this is the firm that will select the next Town Manager? Here’s my question: Whose uncle or brother was this that needed the money and the town paid him to come up with these ideas? This is a great town with some wonderful people but it’s a rudderless ship for leadership. (9/8)

RESPONSE (1) TO “Consultant Declares Town Staff Underpaid, Overworked” — At first glance, I thought this was a joke. According to the 2010 census, the median income for a household in Northampton County was $28,276, and the median income for a family was $35,034. Males had a median income of $26,842 versus $21,839 for females. The per-capita income for the county was $16,591. The population of Cape Charles in 2012 was estimated at 999, which was down 11.9% from 2000. The median income in 2012 was $29,013 while the rest of Virginia enjoyed a median income of $61,741. With less than 1,000 residents in Cape Charles, this consultant felt comfortable comparing the salaries of the town staff to that of the cities of Hampton Roads? Seriously? In addition this consultant feels the town management is understaffed? How many employees are there per full-time resident? This flies in the face of reason and logic. If the management of Cape Charles is still looking at Bay Creek as a panacea, they have rose colored glasses on! There is NOTHING on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to entice business to provide jobs for residents, except municipal jobs. The cost of crossing the Bay Bridge is prohibitive to workers in Hampton Roads to commute. So, who will pay for the increased salaries and extra jobs?People are exiting, not relocating. Wake up and smell the coffee. (9/8)

RESPONSE TO “Building for a Buck” — Nope, the Town of Cape Charles gave J. David McCormack $41,000 insurance money for so-called earthquake damage to the old school in August 2011. He will use it for the water and sewer hookup costs. In the meantime, he does not have to pay for the hookup that the building already has. Everyone else has to pay for utilities whether they use them or not, but Mr. McCormack is special, it seems. The hapless people of Cape Charles paid McCormack $39,990 to take the old school. No doubt it will make some nice Section 8 housing in the not too distant future. (9/8)

RESPONSE TO “Response to ‘Why I Love Winter in Bay Creek'” — I noticed that the first thing you spoke about was “revenue” and did not address any of the issues of the first posting. You also noted that only 10% of the lots have homes. This makes me wonder if you’re not one of these property owners who are part of the problems listed. Do you even live at Bay Creek full time? If you did I think you’d see that what was initially promised (security in a “gated community,” a free work out center near the tennis courts, etc.) never evolved. It’s now about money and the property owners who don’t seem to screen the people they rent their houses to for a few weeks during the summer. Did you know that some of these wonderful “renters” were fishing at the golf course pond and later eating those fish? How would you know? Your concern is your money and not the people who live here. People shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars purchasing a home in Bay Creek and be invaded several times during the summer by loud and uncaring people renting the homes next to them. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to advise them what the HOA regulations are here. I think that if the Bay Creek rental office receives enough complaints, that homeowner should be prevented from renting their house to people. As it stands now there are several out of town homeowners who rent their homes during the summer without the HOA’s approval. (9/8)

BUILDING FOR A BUCK — J. David McCormack bought the 17,000 square foot Old School in Cape Charles for 10 bucks but apparently got a better deal in Martinsville, buying a 24,000 square foot historical building for a buck! CLICK for story. (9/8)

RESPONSE TO “Why I Love Winter in Bay Creek” — Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You make out-0f-towners and their revenue feel so welcome. I’m sure that attitude has contributed to the fact that only 10 percent of the lots in Bay Creek have homes built on them. I’m surprised that people aren’t knocking down the door to build next to people like you. (9/7)

WHY I LOVE WINTER IN BAY CREEK — The tourist season at Bay Creek has finally ended. No more golf carts on walking paths with 10-year-old drivers leading the pack. No more noisy late night parties, loose dogs, broken beer bottles, and boat trailers blocking these narrow roads. No more speeding cars from out of state (mostly NJ) that make me wonder why they’re so late. No more gin and tonics flowing like tidal waves with moms and dads watching the clock like jail wardens for the Happy Hour to begin in town.  No more people traveling to the beach, the pool, the golf course, and The Coach House loaded in carts and cars oblivious to the bike riders, children, and walkers. Stand back you home owners and renters at Bay Creek; we’re here to enlighten you and your town with our money and our attitude that we can do whatever we want and whenever we want! To which I say: Thank God for winter, the locals, and southern manners. Have a safe drive back to wherever you came from, and give us another year to await your arrival. And to the people who rent these homes to these tourists: You really need to brief them a lot better on the HOA rules here. (9/4)

BAY CREEK TIGER BEETLES — Great update on the beetles! The Homeowners Association, having spent way over $2 million for the breakwaters, which ran through [Dickie] Foster’s accounts (remember he never fully paid the bank, so they had to foreclose on the marina to collect)  to save the homes on The Colony “mud flats” along with those homeowners having spent $423,500 of their own money that was contributed on top of $2 million+ was a very costly affair after Hurricane Isabel. A very expensive new “habitat'” for the tigers. Will watch for future updates on the breakwaters. The beetles are having a wonderful time on the beach. (9/3)