LETTER: Supervisors’ Complacence Threatens County

March 23, 2015

DEAR EDITOR,

My wife and I attended the zoning informational meeting at Kiptopeke School this week. While discussing the zoning with one of the Supervisors present we were told that he believes the majority of people in the county actually support the proposed zoning but are simply not attending the meetings, and that the group of people who attend all the meetings (and overwhelmingly oppose the zoning) are actually the minority. The takeaway here would seem that if you are against the zoning changes, or at least skeptical of them, you had better get to the meetings and be heard or you are assumed to be supporting them.

While expressing our concerns to this same Supervisor about the zoning changes paving the way for uses such as medical waste disposal and manure processing/incineration (just to name a couple) we were told,”Uses like that would never happen.” But if our zoning is weak and leaves loopholes, then, whether we like it or not, uses like these can and will happen and could negatively affect every resident of Northampton County.

Any use, in any district, that has the potential to
— foul and pollute our air,
— pollute the water we drink or grow our clams and oysters in,
— pollute the ground our crops are grown on and our children play on, and
— negatively impact the values of our business and homes,
should NEVER be allowed “by right.” These types of uses should always have to go through a “special use” process so that community members have the ability to change or stop, when necessary, something that is harmful to the county as a whole.

RICH GLIEDMAN
Cape Charles

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

THE ALTERNATIVE TABLE: How I Lost 50 Pounds

By KAREN GAY
Cape Charles Wave Columnist

This is the first of a series of columns I am calling The Alternative Table. I will discuss many topics beginning with interviews and photos of some of the new sustainable farms on the Eastern Shore and also covering what are healthy food choices and cooking techniques, recipes, important books and movies on these subjects, and alternative health options. I’ll approach these subjects from the point of view of a journalist, reporting on farms I’ve visited and topics I’ve been reading about. I’d like to be clear about the fact that I am a layperson with wide-ranging interests in these topics and not a doctor, nutritionist, or healer.

My first topic is the Weston A. Price Foundation and how it has helped my health. I understand that what has worked for me is not necessarily a weight loss solution for everyone. We all come from different genetics, cultural heritages, and physical experiences, and as a result each of our bodies operates in a slightly different manner.

At first, my friends looked at me incredulously when I explained how I lost 50 pounds by incorporating the principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The ingredient that did it for me was fat — lots of fat! Like most people coming of age in the 1970s I learned about the new USDA food pyramid and the need to eat less meat, dairy, and fat. I took this seriously, as my mother had always kept abreast of health trends, listening to Carlton Fredericks and Adele Davis on the radio. My siblings and I were probably the only children who went to school after a breakfast of orange juice and brewer’s yeast. Fortunately, the niacin flush wore off just as I arrived at school.

Fast forward past high school, college, marriage, kids, and a career. By the time I retired in April 2014 I was physically exhausted from raising children, coping with a really stressful career spent mostly in front of computers in dark rooms, and a commute that took occasionally more than two hours on the return trip. I was way overweight, exhausted, and my preference during non-work days was to read in bed. Somehow over the years when initially I tried to make healthy food choices I stopped reading labels and bought food primarily for convenience. I found myself looking forward to meals and snacks as replacements for fun and over time began to crave sugar and then fat alternately.

Once I got those cravings, it got to be an addiction. My drugs of choice were potato chips followed by ice cream. No matter how each day I resolved to skip the grocery store, by the time I finished work I could not resist. At the time I knew I had a problem but did not know how to resolve it. For quite a few years I was convinced that I just lacked willpower. [Read more…]

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WAYNE CREED
County Should Stop Yanking Town’s Chain

By WAYNE CREED
Cape Charles Wave Columnist

March 16, 2015

On January 27, the Town of Cape Charles sent correspondence to County Administrator Katie Nunez voicing displeasure with the Board of Supervisors’ reluctance to bow to the Town’s whims — that is, drop everything it was doing and pick up work on the Cape Charles request to have the County include a Town Entrance Overlay District in proposed zoning changes.

The written response from the County was a bit like a horse swatting away an annoying fly with its tail — a nice way of telling Cape Charles to go pack sand.

While it is true that few citizens of Cape Charles actually take the Mayor, Town Council, or Planning Commission seriously, it is worrisome that this same sentiment has also seeped out into the county.

This sentiment may be marginally understandable, given the petulant and peevish tone of the town; however, the county still has some explaining to do, mainly as to why they have been reluctant to take up the matter in the first place. In the correspondence to Nunez, the town noted that in a previous letter, the Board of Supervisors was unable to deal with the town’s request: “Your letter of June 11, 2014 indicated that the Board of Supervisors was unable to consider our request for the inclusion of the Historic Town Overlay Corridor in the proposed zoning amendments due to current workload . . . .”

Workload? What workload? The county makes it sound like they toil away in a Kentucky coal mine. It seems the county is always able to make time for so many inane and inconsequential endeavors; their response to the town on this very important matter appears to be nothing short of a blow-off.

Mayor George Proto’s statement is a legitimate response. Rather than being treated like a creepy, stalker boyfriend who refuses to take no for an answer, the town at least deserves a straight answer. Proto wrote, “I am aware that the BoS has been diligently working through potential revisions [to the proposed zoning] . . . we would like the BoS to consider our request . . . before completing this review [of proposed zoning changes].” Even as diplomatically as they tried to wordsmith it, the town’s frustration is becoming more apparent. [Read more…]

LETTER
Orchestra Hopped into Spring When Most Needed

March 16, 2015

DEAR EDITOR,

If you’ve been hankering for spring and live classical music, our Orchestra of the Eastern Shore’s recent concert would have appealed to you. It was another stunner: they are on a roll. It was the second appearance of vibrant Dr. Paul S. Kim who succeeds the impressive five year tenure of Professor Lee Jordan-Anders.

The 15 member-strong volunteer orchestra was joined by a 10-member church chorus and two professional vocal soloists: the Shore’s own soprano, Anna Sterrett, and, in stark effective contrast, Michigan native bass-baritone Matthew Scollin, who handsomely paired with conductor Kim deftly playing violin in Bach’s Cantata “I will gladly carry the cross.” According to Dr. Kim, Bach could churn out such masterpieces weekly. This one aptly includes a raft of maritime images.

Prior to Mr. Scollin’s powerful performance the large audience had been nearly swept off their feet with Ms. Sterrett’s solo throughout Mozart’s Exultate, jubilate, drafted at midpoint in his life in his teens. The Ave verum corpus, among his last pieces just 18 years later in 1791, impressively engaged our chorus and orchestra as melody and voice, with wonderful acoustics, projected in Hungars Episcopal Church’s tranquil refuge.

With such splendor shared one dreams of an encore. We’re incredibly fortunate for conductor and director Dr. Kim’s presence, that of his teammates and guests, and the church’s cordiality. Shore residents should seize the opportunity to hear them live in the future — again at Bridgetown or in Onancock — for free or in support.

A professional program accompanies each performance. For further info see http://orchestraes.org and for concert updates you are invited to join their list via [email protected].

WENDY MARTIN
Eastville

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

Dufty Reads Riot Act to County Planning Commission

March 9, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: Exmore community activist Ken Dufty continues to hold Northampton County officials’ feet to the fire, as evidenced in his latest letter to the Planning Commission. Of particular and novel interest is the issue of whether an owner of a commercial “barn,” apparently built to hold events, fundraisers, and other public gatherings, could do so “by right” if the owner offered hay rides to party and wedding guests. Dufty does not mention any owner by name, leaving the Wave to speculate that developer Bill Parr’s barn is the object of attention.

CHAIRMAN DIXON LEATHERBURY AND NORTHAMPTON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSIONERS:

It is becoming crystal clear that both the ongoing revisions to the current Northampton County Zoning Ordinance and the 2009 Comprehensive Plan are being conducted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and are devoid of the required studies and other empirical data that must be relied upon to make the decisions that are now being proposed.

Last week at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, [County Planner] Peter Stith was asked by Supervisor [Granville] Hogg why the revisions to the Comprehensive Plan did not involve the citizenry at the beginning of the process, rather than the current plan to present a final product to residents and business owners once the Plan had been revised.

Mr. Stith answered that they did involve the citizenry in surveys and workshops about three years ago. I have attached a copy of the responses to those surveys which 188 people filled out. Overwhelmingly, the respondants to those surveys conducted by the county said that it was “very important” that the Comprehensive Plan protect groundwater recharge areas and concerns; protect floodplains; preserve Priority Conservation Areas; protect Historic Sites, ensure Septic Suitability; and also directed the drafters of the Comprehensive Plan update to factor in rate of growth (majority wanted 1-2% rate of growth), and said that it was very important to create a balance between jobs and housing.

We are curious if the Planning Commission ever received the reponses to the surveys and the notes from the community meetings. If you did not, it is incumbent upon you to access that information, factor it into your deliberations, and then offer credible and defendable evidentiary basis to support your version of the plan, which turns its back on the will of the people as captured in the survey responses.   As many of you know, in order for any decision of a county government to withstand a judicial challenge, it has to rise to a level to be fairly debatable.   Simply ignoring and not responding to a key piece of evidence, such as a community survey and input from public workshops, tips the scales of this review firmly into the arena of arbitrary and capricious behavior, recommendation, and final decision. [Read more…]

WAYNE CREED: Thank You Clelia — You Woke My Soul

Retiring Arts Enter Director Clelia Sheppard

Retiring Arts Enter Director Clelia Sheppard

By WAYNE CREED
Cape Charles Wave

March 9, 2015

Some years ago, fairly new to Cape Charles, I walked into a cold Palace Theatre to take part in a poetry slam that was being hosted by Chris Bannon and the Friends of the Cape Charles Library. As usual I was unshaven, probably a bit hung over, and dressed in flannel and a wool beanie — I must have looked like one of the dock worker extras from On the Waterfront.

As I took a seat and waited for the reading to begin, two elegant, beautiful women entered and sat down. I thought to myself that they must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, or just had the time and place confused with some other. This was my first encounter with Sheila Cardano and her daughter, Clelia Sheppard.

I remember that afternoon well, as I read a story I had written about an odd Russian street performer and his beloved pug dog, and Ms. Cardano read one of her stories about a crazy squirrel. Life is serendipitous, contingent, and I always think of two events that actually saved my life: meeting my beautiful wife, and meeting Clelia Sheppard.

Growing up in West Haven, Connecticut, I remember my mother and grandmother taking me to the great New Haven theaters, and a love and fascination (appreciation) of the stage, whether drama, musical, or dance (Mom actually took me to NYC to see the great Edward Villella) stayed with me through high school and into college. After school, though, the passion kind of seeped away, replaced by other things such as work and career. In all, I had not thought of stepping onto the stage in close to 20 years.

How did Clelia Sheppard and her mom save my life? After meeting that first day, they somehow talked me into taking on a few roles in their Eastern Shore epic A Piece of Eden. By bringing me back into the fold of the theater, they woke up something that even I had forgotten how much I loved. In the years since then, I have had the pleasure to work with and learn from Clelia, but also meet some of my most wonderful friends (Dianne, Susan, Michael, Don, Mary Ann, Sherri, Keith, Amy, and the beautiful David Glowacki). I wish I could say my story is unique, but it is not. In fact, once you get to know Ms. Sheppard and her entire family, you will realize that it’s really quite common. [Read more…]

ANDY ZAHN: Remembering a REAL March Storm (1962)

From the book "Great Storms of the Jersey Shore" © Down The Shore Publishing

From the book “Great Storms of the Jersey Shore” © Down The Shore Publishing

By ANDY ZAHN
Cape Charles Wave

March 9, 2015

Long Beach Island, NJ, “14 miles of beach 6 miles at sea.” That’s what the sign says. Connected to the mainland by a causeway and a high level bridge. The bridge was built in 1957-1958 and replaced the old drawbridge. The drawbridge, no longer in use, was shipped to Chincoteague where perhaps millions of people used it to see the Pony Penning and enjoy the ocean as well as enjoy the Oyster and Seafod Festivals.

In 1962 we were new to the area and very broke. We rented a house in Manahawkin for $75 a month and were about eaten alive by the Jersey mosquitoes. Manahawkin is on the west side of the causeway, so logically we crossed over the bridge and bought a 60′ x 100′ lot from the town of Ship Bottom for around $2,500. There were several lots for sale in an area created by material dredged from the bay, and we selected the one with the highest elevation.

We joined the Teachers’ Credit Union, hocked the title to the car, wheeled and dealed and finagled (I was a math teacher), and had a tiny three bedroom house erected on our lot for around $9,000, bought a washer, dryer and refrigerator, and for about $13,000 we were homeowners! The mortgage was 20 years at 6% and principal with interest came to $65 a month! My first monthly payment reduced the principal by 10 cents and so we made extra principal payments to speed thing up.

Ship Bottom is about a mile wide from the ocean to the bay and we were a few houses from the bay. On the 5th of March we walked on the beach by the ocean and it was flat calm. I never saw the ocean so calm with not any breakers. Wally Kinan, the weatherman on TV, gave no hint of any unusual weather the next day.

When I awoke on March 6 the wind was from the northeast and howling. Driving rain mixed with snow. The new high school was already overcrowded and the 7th and 8th grades came in on a late shift, so I just watched the storm and waited to go to work. [Read more…]

EXTRA: Arts Maven Clelia Sheppard Bids Adieu

Clelia Sheppard has announced her resignation as

After 18 years of dedicated service to the arts in Cape Charles, Clelia Sheppard has announced her resignation as Executive Director and Artistic Director of Arts Enter, the organization she founded.

March 4, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: To our great surprise, yesterday we received the letter below from Clelia Sheppard, whose name is synonymous with the arts scene in Cape Charles and, by extension, the entire lower Eastern Shore. Ms. Sheppard is resigning as director of Arts Enter, but promises that she will remain a board member “ad infinitum.” Here is her eloquent and breathtaking letter:

DEAR COMMUNITY MEMBERS, 

As I step down from my role as Executive Director and Artistic Director of Arts Enter Cape Charles, I have a question. I want to know—what inspires you? An Eastern Shore sunset? A work of art that grabs you and won’t let go? Perhaps it’s seeing your child perform on stage for the first time, or hearing the right chord just when you need it most.

When I first stepped inside the Historic Palace Theatre, with her worn seats and dark, quiet stage, I found my calling. To bring this gem back to life. To shine a spotlight on the people of Cape Charles and the lower Eastern Shore. To share my love of the arts. And to test my own limits and abilities: it was a personal challenge. [Read more…]

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