LETTER: ‘Open Season’ on Central Park Cats

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

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

November 17, 2014


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


LETTER: Why Do County Taxes Go to Baltimore?

October 31, 2014


Where is our County Treasurer, Cynthia Bradford, these days — is she in the State of Maryland or in Eastville, Virginia?

We are instructed to send our real estate taxes to Baltimore, Maryland. That’s approximately $50 million total. Why should those funds be deposited in Maryland instead of a bank in Virginia that is under the jurisdiction and scrutiny of our state?

As a taxpayer, I care where my money is being held. [Read more...]


Money Wasted on Empty School Could Go to EMS

School closed in 2008 but maintenance costs are sizable.

School closed in 2008 but maintenance costs are $110,000 per year.

October 6, 2014


Confusion and lack of vision seem to be the normal operating tools of the government in Northampton County, an obvious observation from the September 29 meeting. Why pay a reported $220,000 to DJG Architects for a report on what to do with an old rundown, outdated, energy-hog building that consumes $110,000 yearly just sitting there doing nothing? Which universe has common sense evaporated into?

The DJG report could easily have been performed for $5,000-$8,000 in this day of computerization. Being a retired building contractor, I understand this is one way architects make high salaries when dealing with government bodies, but just why does the Board of Supervisors lack the ability to think this through on their own in the first place?

And what decision was made by the Board of Supervisors at this meeting concerning the Machipongo School? Let it sit there a while longer was the decision.

We don’t know what to do? We have plenty of taxpayer money to spend, they must think. Let’s just keep spending $9,166 a month to let the building sit and deteriorate. This is a welcome sign to Shore visitors and perspective investors of the collapsing economy and the declining Northampton County population. Letting the building sit vacant costs $2,291 per week, in one of the poorest and least educated counties in Virginia.  Just how is the public being served by these kinds of decisions and activities?

A large part of the EMS issue now under consideration could have been solved with that $220,000. Garages are needed to keep the EMS trucks tucked away so the equipment is out of the inclement weather. If approached creatively, not simply squandering money because it’s the taxpayers’, and friends are making a profit (which is public fraud in some people’s eyes), four separate commercial metal buildings with concrete slabs could have been constructed in Northampton County for approximately $100,000 total! Look at the Randy Custis Memorial Ball Park. Ask Phil Custis how his first metal structure was built for $7.50 a square foot. If the BOS had allocated that $222,000 correctly towards the EMS issue, it would have left $120,000 as an emergency EMS fund to be intelligently used as needed. And it’s the EMS staff that know their needs best. Continuing to jointly use Volunteer Fire Department buildings, as in Nassawadox and Melfa, is an excellent way to buddy up on community needs as opposed to increasing costly and additional ill-conceived bureaucracy and tax burden. [Read more...]


LETTER: Well Done Northampton High 9/11 Service

September 22, 2014


On September 11, I was privileged to be invited as a guest at the second annual Northampton High School 9/11 Memorial Service. The service was held in the gymnasium and was attended by all the students and the faculty. One of the impressive aspects was that the service was conducted primarily by the students themselves.

After some brief introductions, a school choir opened with a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. A Power Point presentation followed of photographs in chronological order taken that fateful day along with a verbal rendition of the events.

Among the guests that attended were the first responders to the Cherrystone tornado disaster, who were given a rousing ovation by all of the attendees.

Kudos to Northampton High School for a job well done.

Adjutant, American Legion Post 56

Letters to the Editor are welcome, and a diversity of opinions is encouraged. Send submissions to [email protected].

Arts Festival Is Essence of Economic Development

August 18, 2014


It is with much praise and gratitude that I express my sincere appreciation for the event “Harbor for the Arts” in Cape Charles August 1-17. As the second annual event, this arts festival deserves great acclaim. Not only has our cultural arts organization Arts Enter Cape Charles demonstrated expertise in grant and sponsorship funding, it has also proved to the world that our community has one of the premier cultural arts centers in the nation if not the world.

Performances and exhibitions took place over a two week period using venues that represented the best private and public assets of the Town of Cape Charles and her surrounding environs. Street performances, bands under pavilions on the park and at the beach, concerts and films in our beautifully restored historic theater, entertainers gathering audiences on the sidewalks, a multi-media dance production in a classic 150-year-old equestrian barn overlooking the seaside sounds and islands, and more — wherever one turned during these two weeks the cultural arts permeated our living space here in Cape Charles. How blessed this writer felt to be living and working in such an incredibly talented community!

Arts Enter Cape Charles deserves all of the support our community can possibly give — through attendance, financial gifts, sponsorships and volunteer participation. This dedicated group colors our community with excellence in the arts, offering instruction in the performing and visual arts as well as amazing performances that educate, entertain and thrill her audiences. This is the essence of economic development: establishing our community as a center of the arts and education, improving our reputation and attracting new growth and business to our region.

Thank you to Arts Enter Cape Charles for enriching our lives and lifting our souls!


Letters to the Editor are welcome, and a diversity of opinions is encouraged. Send submissions to [email protected].


Response to ‘Arts Festival Is Essence of Development’


August 19, 2014

In response to David Kabler’s letter (CLICK), I certainly agree with everything Capt K is saying, especially “establishing our community as a center of the arts and education, improving our reputation and attracting new growth and business to our region.”

However, the deconstructionist in me would be remiss not to point out that textually the narrative always bleeds over and tends to occupy the most important part of the narrative, out in the margins, echoing Guy Debord’s claims that different commodities conflict with each other, preventing the consumer from consuming the whole. Each commodity claims itself as the only existent one:
“Irreconcilable claims jockey for position on the stage of the affluent economy’s unified spectacle, and different star commodities simultaneously promote conflicting social policies.”

What I mean is that as beautiful a celebration of the Arts as Harbor for the Arts was, simultaneously, right across town, in the old school, crews were working to demolish the oldest, most historical stage on the Eastern Shore.

As much as I love and support everyone and everything involved in HFA, it’s still hard to reconcile these “oppositional” events. I guess my ultimate criticism is that the ultimate goal here, as described by Kabler, is economic development; however, this belief is couched in the belief that existence is structured in terms of oppositions (historical significance and social justice or grants for digital cameras) and that these oppositions are hierarchical, with one side of the opposition being more valuable than the other (this is certainly the reality (of the street) that the historically underserved are being expected to accept). The courts certainly seem to agree with this, and insist that we urgently re-inscribe this new hierarchy (devalue social and historical significance and replace it with the “New”: see Hotel Cape Charles) so that we can move ahead with “economic development” as the main driver. [Read more...]


Sewer Smell at Beach and Harbor Discourages Tourism

August 18, 2014


Could someone please look into why the waste treatment plant at Cape Charles continuously smells? My husband and I have a home in Cheriton and frequently have grandchildren over to visit. Of course they want to go to the beach, and the beach at Cape Charles is very convenient. Last year we noticed a sewage smell while swimming and sunning. This year it is there as well. We also put our boat in at the harbor and, of course, experience the same thing. It is very off-putting when you expect sea breezes and get only what you can only say “phew” to.

We continue to put our boat in at the harbor because of the convenience of not towing it a long distance, and because we don’t have to smell those odors because we are not there very long. We have, however, decided not to take advantage of the beach anymore, because who wants to spend the day whiffing those gases? We’ll go to Kiptopeke and pay for the privilege to breathe the clean, salty air down there. Or trip on up to Assateague and, again, pay for a glorious breezy experience and for fun playing in the waves.

I wonder how the folks in the big yachts in the harbor feel about taking in foul odors while trying to sit on the boat deck, having a cool one and grilling out? How would this go over as a recommendation to their friends to dock their boats there? How do they feel when they have friends over and they ask, “How can you stand that smell?” [Read more...]


LETTER: Pieces of Tangier Conveys Unique Island Life

August 11, 2014


What a treat it was to attend the July 19 screening of Pocomoke City native Jenny Roberts’ documentary Pieces of Tangier in Onancock. It is her 2013 MFA thesis which, more than that, reveals her personal effort, at much of her own expense, to convey the unique life of Tangier residents as erosion nips the island.

Betty Martin (unrelated to the writer) attended last year’s screening at the Mar-Va Theatre and was equally impressed. In fact she undertook a nine-month volunteer effort to coordinate the sterling screening presentation which garnered significant generosity and participation from the Accomac community.

As we continue to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for another year a charming prelude to Pieces of Tangier by the same artist can be enjoyed here http://vimeo.com/48050485

Luckily for those who’ve missed the boat thus far, Jenny’s DVD is now available at the Book Bin. Northampton residents look forward to a screening in the not-too-distant-future.


Letters to the Editor are welcome, and a diversity of opinions is encouraged. Send submissions to [email protected].

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