Chamber of Commerce Applauds School Resolution

June 15, 2015


I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber of Commerce has served businesses on the Eastern Shore for 62 years.  Representing more than 450 businesses, our mission is to “serve, promote and connect businesses and communities of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.”

The Board of Directors would like to commend the Northampton County Board of Supervisors for the Resolution they adopted at their meeting on May 12, 2015.  We wholeheartedly agree that education should be viewed as the cornerstone for the county’s economic future. We encourage the Board of Supervisors to remain focused on education and to keep all the educational declarations listed below in the forefront of their decision making.


WHEREAS, it is well established and recognized that the future of our local, regional and even global society hinges on an engaged, informed, and educated youth; and

WHEREAS, it is also recognized that a well-educated and inspired student body is the engine that drives, and will continue to drive our local and regional economy; and

WHEREAS, Northampton County is fortunate to enjoy world-class teachers who have dedicated themselves to ensuring that their students are equipped and prepared to become productive and beneficial members of society in business, academic and leadership roles; and [Read more…]

LETTER: What Is Happening in Northampton County?

June 8, 2015


About a decade ago, family members relocated from our rural area in upstate New York to Northampton County, which they call “the lower Eastern Shore.”   Retirement age, they were seeking a  more serene way of life, and subsequently invested nearly $750,000 in property there, convinced that the rural and scenic county would meet and exceed their every need.   My husband and I, also creeping up on the age where we might want to enjoy living in a milder climate, first visited their new home in 2006.  A weekend stay then cocked our heads a bit, and we put a checkmark in the box next to “potential” prospects on our small but growing list.

Our next stay, the following summer, lasted nearly a week.  During that time we dug a little deeper into what the county and incorporated towns offered, with a keen eye on whether or not the “lower Shore” would remain a contender.  Within several years, our visits expanded to include more lengthy stays, burning up our vacation time between Northampton County and the Outer Banks, another possible retirement site.

The area where we live has seen its share of environmental incursions, from waste incinerators, coal burning plants, hard rock mines, oil pipelines, and construction and demolition landfills proposed for residential areas.  Therefore, when looking for property that would be protected from these body blows, we  looked very carefully at zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans in prospective retirement candidates, as those blueprints reflect the vision that the majority of residents hold for the future of their local and regional setting. [Read more…]


3-Minute Public Hearing for $8 Million Town Budget

June 8, 2015


On June 4 there was a Public Hearing in Cape Charles Town Hall to “Receive Public Comment on the FY 2015-2016 Proposed Budget and Utility Rates.” I was the only party having comments and questions. I was made aware, that my remarks were limited to three minutes.

After my greeting remarks, some pleasantries, and some thank you’s for having  this meeting, I was left with about 2 minutes and 30 seconds for my comments and questions. This was by far not enough time to express the many questions and concerns  I had and still have about many inconsistencies and questionable entries made in the proposed budget. However, after three minutes, BIG BEN was ringing at the councilwoman’s desk, reminding me in no uncertain terms to end my  remarks. This  leaves me with only one option, to ask these questions openly, through local publications.

It is unfortunate that we still – 11 months after closing the books for FY 2013-2014 – do not have audited financial statements. This forced me to compare the proposed 2015-2016 budget with the budget for the previous fiscal year. Please keep also in mind that a good portion of our residents are on fixed income and cannot afford expense increases that exceed inflation. [Read more…]

WAYNE CREED: 96% Vegan, 2% Vegetarian, 2% Cheater

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 8, 2015

May was International Respect for Chickens Month, a short time when, I hoped, maybe a few would stop and see chickens (actually all animals) as someone, not something. Unfortunately, it seemed that everywhere I looked, there was some kind of poultry sale going on, from Food Lion to KFC to Popeyes, and Burger King even went big with its “chicken fries” campaign. It also seemed some of the foodie sites and magazines were abnormally meat heavy. My good buddy Karen Gay of the Wave’s “Alternative Table” even ran a story May 4 (Respect Chicken Day) promoting eating animals as a way to lose weight and be “healthy.”

Of course, people are free to make their own choices and eat what they want. This is America, and with Memorial Day and picnics and grilling season and all that, I guess this was to be expected.

That said, what kind of rubs many vegans the wrong way is that the subtext of this “meat-eater”-centric narrative implies that those who choose a plant power based lifestyle are somehow this odd group of stringy haired, Birkenstock wearing weaklings (adorned in unfashionable socks that hide neglected toenails), lost waifs, emaciated, and vulnerable wisps, wasting away and ready to be blown away by the wind. Truth: not only can you succeed athletically on a plant-based diet, it is the way to clean out, balance, and increase performance in every part of your of life.

Ultraman Race top finisher Rich Roll (Ultraman is a 10 K open ocean swim, a 261.4 mile cross-country bike ride, and a 52.4 mile ultra-marathon), Triathletes Brendan Brazier, Hillary Biscay, and Scott Jurek (Ultramarathoner) have proven that vegans can compete at the top levels of endurance sport. MMA/UFC fighters like Mac Danzig and Jake Shields are also athletes that use a plant based diet. This tennis season, take a few moments to watch the Wimbledon, French, or US Opens, and see how well the beautiful Serena Williams performs (arguably the most dominant athlete in her sport). After injuries, illness, fatigue, and trouble with muscle recovery, both Williams sisters switched to a plant based diet. (Venus went plant based after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome.) Serena, after going vegan, won her fifth US Open title. [Read more…]


Backwards Parking, Chimneys, and Wee King Neptune

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 1, 2015

In last week’s Wave, it was reported that a smaller version of Virginia Beach’s giant Neptune sculpture had been donated by patron Wyndham Price, and would be placed on the boardwalk. What seemed like a very generous offer was instead attacked by some as being utterly inappropriate, almost an insult to our refined sensibilities. One critic said that the work should instead be “a more appropriate symbol signifying who we are.”

My first impression was that the town should immediately commission an artist to create a work to symbolize the “New Cape Charles,” one that conveys a narrative of who we are. Maybe a work comprised of a pig, a bird, and a snake to symbolize the three Buddhist poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

But then I stopped: Is “who we are” a question we really want answered?

A case in point: Over at the old library, now arbitrarily called the “Civic Center” instead of what it really is, the Town Hall, the Historic District Review Board recently voted to remove the chimneys because they were leaking. After several anemic attempts by Public Works to repair them, the town decided it would be easier to just tear them down.

It seems the town is always quite ready to hang its hat on the historical integrity of Cape Charles when it suits them (usually when developer tax credits are on the line), but when it comes to maintaining the integrity (historical character) of a true historical structure they seem more than willing to rape and violate it, generally out of nothing more than sheer laziness and incompetence.

For years, the town allowed the old school to fall into a state of disrepair. This was a willful and illegal act, and instead of making simple, inexpensive fixes, like new windows to keep out the water, they instead amused themselves by making up the most fraudulent stories about the place’s ultimate demise. Carpet baggers from Richmond have recently exposed those tall tales as nothing but silly little lies. [Read more…]


ALTERNATIVE TABLE: Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry SignBy KAREN GAY
Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 1, 2015

Last spring while my friends were gorging on juicy, sweet strawberries I was supine on my zero-gravity recliner recovering from 35 years of sitting at a desk. This year, feeling much better, I determined to find that farm that everyone talked about but no one could quite explain exactly where it was. Asking one friend, I heard “Oh, it’s just a ways up 13.” Another friend looked at me blankly when I asked whether it was north or south of OBS Building Supply. Someone told me it was before you hit Exmore. “Well, is it before or after the Machipongo Trading Company?” She couldn’t say.

So on a sunny Saturday I set off north from Cape Charles to find these ephemeral strawberry fields where everyone in town went, but where no one could identify its location. Lo and behold, just a short distance north of Eastville the fields appeared just after Union Baptist Church. I swung right into Bell Lane and parked in the grassy lot to the side of the farm stand. As soon as I opened the car door I could tell there were strawberries nearby. The scent wafted over me as I approached the stand and then it only got better as Janice Giddens welcomed me with a huge smile and bright pink stained hands. She and two others had been in the back of the stand packing strawberries into quart containers. I bought two quarts and asked if I could interview her. She deftly pointed me out to the fields to question the boss who was in a red shirt. [Read more…]


One Vision for the Eastern Shore Food Economy

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

May 25, 2015

alttableLast Saturday I hosted a Weston A. Price booth at the Crabby Blues Festival. It was a wonderful day not only because of the fabulous weather and music by The Janitors but because of the many health-minded people who stopped by my booth to talk about their successes with weight loss, their farming experiences, and dietary plans that they like. Several folks signed up to take one of the Juicing and Smoothie classes that I’ll be offering. And quite a few festival-goers expressed an interest in buying the fermented vegetables that I had on display.

What are fermented vegetables? Sauerkraut and kimchi are examples of vegetables that are prepared in a crock or glass jar and covered with a brine of water and salt. Over a week or more, the lacto-fermentation process causes the growth of bacteria which benefits the gut. Many traditional societies ate these fermented or cultured foods with each meal to keep their intestinal micro-biome in balance. Today we have culture starters that can be added to the brine which adds an even broader spectrum of beneficial bacteria. Someday I may have the time to start a home-based business to make and sell these vegetables.

I was so pleased to see the many small businesses selling their products at the festival. These enterprises add so much value to the Shore’s economy and in my mind they suit our environment. We are not a place for large corporations, polluting chicken houses, and massive agribusiness. I’d like to see a return to a sustainable farm-based economy where our neighbors grow our food and small businesses grow up around the farms to add value to their products. Those of us who partake in eating and using what our neighbors have to offer may pay more for food, but we’ll all see a return in the explosion of money-making activity, community, and especially our health.

I’ve reported on two small farms, La Caridad and Willowdale, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and there are quite a few more: Mattawoman, Perennial Roots, Copper Cricket, Shine and Rise, By the Bay Alpaca, ES Emus, and others I have yet to discover. These farms produce vegetables, herbs, fruit, pork, chickens, eggs, rabbits, dairy, emu, alpaca and probably things I don’t know about. [Read more…]

Chief Pruitt Urges Citizens to ‘Thank a Policeman’

May 18, 2015


Today in the United States, approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the safety  and protection of others. With great success, they serve with valor and distinction.

Federal statistics show that violent crime and property crime rates in the United States are at historic lows, thanks to the dedicated service of the men and women in law enforcement. The national Law Enforcement Memorial is ever-changing as new names are added to the memorial every year due to the selfless sacrifice of the men and women that serve our communities.

In 2014, 127 police officers were killed in the line of duty, leaving 159 children without a parent — and as of today 44 officers have fallen in 2015. These numbers are tragic on their own, not to mention the void that will never be filled.

In what other occupation is one expected to make correct, split-second, serious, and possibly life-and-death decisions while navigating complicated laws and procedures, in addition to having to lay his or her life on the line for total strangers?

The men and women of law enforcement are content in doing a difficult job, one most people in the world could not or would not do, and they do it well. It truly takes an extraordinary person to be a police officer. [Read more…]