By KAREN GAY
January 5, 2015
I have recently been reading articles in various news media about the Virginia Food Freedom Act which will come before the Virginia House of Delegates for the January 15, 2015, session. Many of these articles reference a woman in Arlington who lost her job and could not find work no matter how hard she tried. Rather than lose her home she decided that she would try to raise money by making soup and other food and selling it to her neighbors and friends. She was so successful that when a local radio show asked who made the best soup, she was mentioned again and again. This is a classic American tale of triumph over disaster. In the rags to riches movies we’ve seen, this lady would go on to build her business so that she could continue to churn out home-cooked meals for her town and in time grow to provide employment for others.
But how did this story actually turn out? Unfortunately, the health department also heard the news and she was shut down despite the fact that there were no complaints or illnesses. Now, I take no issue with the health department as they are doing what the law requires them to do. But is it really necessary for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to get involved in local neighbor-to-neighbor sales of homemade goods?
House Bill No. 1290 amends five sections of Virginia state law to exempt food prepared or processed in a private home or farm from government inspection provided that the food is sold directly to the end consumer and is labeled with the producer’s name, address, and product ingredients and the disclosure “NOT FOR RESALE — PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION.” CLICK to read this Bill.
So why am I interested in this Bill? For several years now I have been investigating the impact food has on my health. I had begun to understand that my health was declining, my weight was increasing, I had no energy, and very little motivation in life. I found it hard to believe that this general malaise was a natural part of aging. I began reading books and blogs and signed up for webinars looking for solutions that referenced scientific studies. Then about a year ago, I stumbled upon the Weston A. Price Foundation which is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism. (CLICK for website.) Their literature resonated with me and slowly I began following their dietary guidelines. Once I retired I was able to incorporate these guidelines into our daily lives. It has been a slow process but my husband and I are starting to feel more optimistic about our health. I’ll discuss these food principles in another article. As a result of this study I began to realize that for me it is really important to prepare most of our meals at home using traditional foods and avoiding those that have been processed. We’ve been trying to follow the 80/20 rule in which we eat at home 80 percent of the time and enjoy our wonderful local restaurants on occasion. [Read more…]
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following submission was originally published as a comment to a letter by Robert Toner (CLICK to read). We are republishing it as a Commentary for those who might have missed it.)
By KEN DUFTY
December 29, 2014
Hats off to Mr. Toner for exposing the naked truth about the apparent motives of those digging their spurs into the bellies of the all-too-willing Board of Supervisors (save for Granville Hogg). While marching to the cadence of the “business friendly” chant, the majority of the members of the Board have turned their backs on the citizenry of this great county, targeting especially the middle class and those struggling to stay above the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.
As to Bobby Roberts’ theory that the “whole mess is starting to smell” like GENTRIFICATION, that has been my partial take on the situation since I sat down to read the entire draft zoning ordinance just hours before the March 11, 2014, Public Hearing at Northampton High School (shame on me for not being more involved in county issues before that 12th hour!). The elitists apparently working the strings of the Supervisors (‘cept’n Hogg, who refuses to have those knots tied) seem obsessed with transforming this county into a bustling upscale retirement destination, abandoning the assets which set us far above the cookie-cutter likeness of Virginia Beach and Ocean City.
As the recently-commissioned Competitive Assessment Study recommended, in order to REALLY become more business friendly, the Board should be encouraging and marketing our core industries, the engines driving our local economy. These include agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, small business, and tourism, many of which lead the state and nation in their ranking and growth. The report also directed the Board to cure the real ills stopping growth in the county, such as lack of high-speed Internet, reliable cell phone service, better quality schools, accessible and affordable health care, and the development of a trained and ready workforce.
Instead, the Board has set a course which can only be described as a campaign to gentrify the county, driving taxes higher and ensuring that those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder will have even a more difficult time remaining on the lower Shore. A few of the examples that support Mr. Roberts’ gentrification theory are: [Read more…]
By BENJAMIN LEWIS
September 29, 2014
Upon reading Wayne Creed’s well written article in the Wave September 22 (CLICK), I couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of sadness and disappointment all at once. As the son of a Cape Charles native and grandson of a former Cape Charles town manager, mayor, and business leader, I feel a special connection to Cape Charles. From its perfectly aligned and tree-shaded streets to its small-town America vibe, Cape Charles has a unique panache that cannot be duplicated.
However, not unlike many boom towns across this great country of ours, Cape Charles has not been without its troubles. From its earliest days, this southernmost enclave on the Eastern Shore has seen fortunes come and go with the tides that frequent its shores. Starting with the railroad that placed Cape Charles on the map, to the Bay Creek development that practically saved its future and then almost lost it again, the town knows a thing or two about recovery.
This summer has been a particularly trying season for the area. Starting with the disastrous and deadly tornado that ripped through Cherrystone, it was quickly followed by the tragic drowning death of Uvihin “Ace” Horton at the public town beach. In the days and weeks following Horton’s death, the people of this town have quietly begun the process of introspectively digesting what happened and how it possibly could have been prevented. The death of anyone by drowning, much less a child on vacation, is a horrific tragedy. It further highlights the risk we all take when enjoying the prolific expanses of nature that surround our peninsula.
In Mr. Creed’s article, he rightly questioned why the town has not installed some type of safety measures beyond a sign that is posted on the dunes nearest the Gazebo. Life guards, more safety signs, a daily posting of high and low tides, and floats attached to rope indicating the outer limits of safe swimming are all good starts. However, beyond these suggestions is where I draw the line in agreeing with Mr. Creed’s assessment of the town’s handling of the drowning, their attitude towards safety, and the overall climate of the town’s current state of affairs. [Read more…]
By ANDY ZAHN
September 29, 2014
On the home front many men were gone into the military. There was a need for people to enter the work force and do the jobs that the men left behind. Who else but the women to fill these slots and to work in factories making such things as jeeps, trucks, B-17 bombers, rifles and so many other products?
With many husbands now earning “21 dollars a day, once a month” as GIs, where they used to bring home $35 a week, there was a need for extra income. The women were magnificent! The plants building war items flew on their flag poles a letter “E” for efficiency awarded by the government. Even far more important the women were forced to manage the household budget, pay the bills, taxes, mortgages, or rents and raise their children by themselves long before “single moms” existed. Some men owned businesses and it fell on the wives to take over the business and put in the hours that required so when the war ended the business was still there.
Andy Kless had a little dining car on Springfield Avenue, and when he was in the Navy, Mrs. Kless took over, cooking, washing dishes, etc. Andy was a friend of mine and when he returned home the business was in good shape. Andy got a GI loan, removed the old dining car, and put in a beautiful shiny new diner. He later bought two more new diners in Irvington, but when the town went to ruin the one diner was moved to Beachwood where it now stands. Adele Joa in Pine Beach, NJ, took over Mack’s Tavern on Highway 9 in Bayville while her husband was in service.
Another side of this was that the mothers and wives were not hardened by the horrors of being on a battlefield, and provided a nurturing, warm, loving environment for the children and the returning veterans. Civilized nations did not send their women off to war. During and after the war we had women in service; my wife was in the USAF, but we didn’t put then in harm’s way. In the Korean “Conflict” we were capturing and holding as POWs women from the Chinese Army. We were horrified that women would be sent into combat! Now we are doing the exact same thing. Even worse, we have fathers and mothers both in service and both being deployed with grandparents watching the kids. There is talk of reinstituting the draft and now a possibility of drafting girls. Like they say, “we’ve come a long way baby,” and I for one don’t like it at all. [Read more…]
By ANDY ZAHN
September 22, 2014
At home we got the Newark Evening News and every day they told how the war was going. They daily had a map showing how far General Patton had gone that day. One day he advanced 65 miles and had to stop because his tanks needed gasoline. He saved our bacon in the Battle of the Bulge by having his Third Army cut across all the supply lines and racing to reinforce our forces. He was my hero and I wanted to be a “tanker” and wear two pearl handled .38s but it wasn’t to be. Ernie Pyle had war stories that were great and I believe he got killed by enemy fire.
General Marshall had more brains than any 20 other generals. He put so many things together that all came together at the same time and same place. Training an army while making their M-1 rifles, 6×6 trucks, cargo ships, troop transports, training pilots before their planes were built, managing the rails, coal, and steel plus everything else an army and navy needs.
Eisenhower was a low key, quartermaster issue army officer. D-Day and the European campaign were sheer brilliance. We had an elderly corporal in the 4th MPs and he was waiting to retire. He just came in and talked and then went back home. He should have retired but they had him down for six months bad conduct time which he had to make up. His mother wrote Ike, and a letter came back from the White House. He had served with Ike at Fort Lewis long ago when Ike was a major. The letter said “THIS MAN HAS NO BAD CONDUCT TIME. REPEAT NO BAD CONDUCT TIME.” The corporal got his pension!
In the Pacific, Admiral Nimitz was my hero and I have his autograph. I saw him after the war and he was the most handsome naval officer there ever was, bright SILVER hair. Medium height, about 5’6″, in his blues his stripes went to his elbow or above. He was a five star as were Ike and Marshal along with Halsey, MacArthur, and Bradley, and he had a wide gold stripe with four regular gold stripes. He was the Fleet Admiral of Task Force 57 and they went through hell with Jap aircraft and Kamikazes. He defeated the Jap fleet at the Battle of Midway and that was the turning point in the Pacific. There was a Navy Lt. Commander who worked with codes and he cracked the Jap code. Because of that Nimitz knew where and when the Jap fleet would be and that was a large part of our victory. Nimitz, a FIVE STAR WAR HERO, put the Lt. Commander in for a medal and the Pentagon rejected the request. It is hard to believe — and also hard to believe that Patton would be humiliated for slapping a malingerer. [Read more…]
By ANDY ZAHN
September 15, 2014
A couple hundred area kids went to the Liberty Theater on Springfield Avenue Saturday afternoons to see a war movie, a serial to see if Pauline could undo the ropes and get up before the train got to her and a crime or spy movie. Three or more times each Saturday there was a flash of light as another kid came through the exit door to see the movie, which cost about 12 cents, for free.
The spies were always a German couple and the man wore a white suit with a straw Panama hat. He also drove a Lincoln Zypher car. In my friend’s house in the attic apartment there was exactly such a couple. We all knew they were spies.
One day the FBI was picking up radio signals and put direction finders on the signals. The waves crossed at my friend’s house and the FBI tore up the apartment, finding a trasmitter. The two were arrested and never seen again! In a real war agents are not tried in civil court and the penalty is death. Our agents know this as the enemy used to also know.
Springfield Avenue is the main street through Irvington, NJ, and had trolleys going from Springfield through Millburn, Maplewood, Irvington, and downtown Newark. People came from miles to go to Olympic Park with rides, a huge swimming pool, and a merry-go-round now at Disney World in Orlando. There could be a story about the park, now gone, there was so much. There were stores all along the Avenue and we saw the town install parking meters. Bamberger’s had a clock on the sidewalk and everyone used to say “Meet me at Bamberger’s clock.” After the trolleys they had buses with trolly poles that ran on electricity or their regular motor. Six days a week the Avenue was a mass of activity and on Sunday it was deserted as in the song “A Sunday Morning Sidewalk.” [Read more…]
By ANDY ZAHN
September 8, 2014
I was 10 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. All of our lives changed on that December 7th day, 1941. We had air raid drills at school where we went to the basement and stood with our heads in our arms against the wall lockers. My father taught all the town’s teachers first aid in case we actually had a raid and needed help. Air raid sirens could go off at any time, and if at night all lights had to be made not visible. Gasoline was rationed and you had to display a letter in the rear window of the car or truck with an “A” letting you buy three gallons per week if you had the money and the ration coupons. The speed limit was 35 mph to save gasoline. The top half of the headlights had to be covered with black electrical tape.
Dad trained the soldiers from Fort Monmouth how to be firefighters, and their fire engine came to our drill tower weekly for instruction. After getting the town ready for war, equipping and training the Civil Defense firefighters and working with the Red Cross, Dad tried to go back into the Army but was too old. He then joined the Navy! When the local judge heard what Dad had done we met him on Sunday outside church and he remarked that he would never do such a thing.
Now Mom and I were alone, and at age 12 I was the man of the house. Mom went to the ration board and picked up two books of coupons, one for each of us. When she got home and opened the books all the meat coupons had been stolen by a worker at the board. For the next six months we were not able to legally buy any meat.
While there were a lot of patriotic people, there were also a lot of low-lifes. Many young men joined the military and many others waited for the draft. But there were many who we called “draft dodgers” and “slackers.” There were all manner of ways to avoid the draft. Some men with one child hastened to have another baby, figuring men with two or more kids would not be drafted. Some bachelors quickly married a woman with children. Some moved to Lakewood, NJ, and took up raising poutry. Some put blotters inside their shoes to give a false pulse reading. And there was the black market where things were sold at high prices without ration coupons. [Read more…]
By ANDY ZAHN
August 11, 2014
In 1957 I was an MP in the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Lewis. One of our Captains at Fort Lewis was in Germany at the end of WW II. His sole assignment in Germany was to get Werner Von Braun to the United States in case the USSR should attack.
Before the war Dr. Goddard was ahead of his time and was studying rocket science. He told the government of the possibilites but our leaders paid no attention. The Germans heard and they began work on jet engines and rockets. They had several outstanding scientists working on the program and by war’s end had jet fighter aircraft and V-2 and V-12 rockets with guidance systems raining destruction on London. It was agreed that half these scientists would be in the Russian Zone and half in the U.S. Zone.
Those in our zone came to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and worked on a rocket that would escape earth’s gravity and orbit the earth. That group, led by Dr. Von Braun, had such a rocket on the launching pad at Redstone but because of politics were not allowed to attempt a launch until the Air Force made a few tries ending in failure.
In the meantime the Russians launched Sputnik and thus were first to orbit the earth. When the army at Redstone was permitted to fire their rocket we were successful but in 2nd place. The American school system got the blame. Sound familiar? It had nothing to do with our schools nor with the Russian schools. The entire program was German!
In 1958 I was teaching math and science to 7th and 8th graders. We had wonderful textbooks written by three authors who knew not only the math but the readiness of the students, and it was written at their level of understanding. The 8th grade text took up where the 7th grade left off, and the 7th grade book prepared them for next year. There were always revews of the basics already learned, lots of practice problems, thousands of word problems dealing with all manner of everyday useful practical math, and here the students were also learning about borrowing, investing, compound interest, bonds, stocks, measuring, weights, volume, dry measure, geometric constructions, perimeters, areas, volumes, and a few new concepts such as the 3rd type percent problem, positive and negative numbers, and basic algebra. [Read more…]