By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
November 10, 2014
Speakers at a community forum on the Northampton County Zoning Ordinance last Thursday called for the Board of Supervisors to withdraw the proposed ordinance changes being considered.
Some 140 residents braved the rainy evening to attend the forum in the Eastville Fire Station Bingo Hall sponsored by Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper and Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. County Supervisors Granville Hogg and Rick Hubbard were among them. When asked when the supervisors might vote on the proposed changes Hogg answered, “I don’t know.”
Audience sentiment clearly supported withdrawing the proposed zoning changes. But one attendee, Katherine Campbell, bravely asked to speak in favor of the changes and was given three minutes. She said her concern was that the county needed economic development and that the zoning changes would lead to a more prosperous county. In response, panelist Roberta Kellam noted that everyone is interested in a more prosperous county. Kellam questioned how the zoning ordinance’s proposed ban on single-wide mobile homes could benefit low-income residents. “Will developers build affordable homes or waterfront homes?” Kellam asked. [Read more...]
Jim Smith returned to Cape Charles Saturday, August 9, for his fourth local appearance as Elvis — this time street-side. Watch “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”
Old Man and the Fountain
Meanwhile, up Mason Avenue, Tony Sacco performed old favorites outside the Stage Door Gallery. Watch “Summertime.”
CAPE CHARLES WAVE
February 10, 2014
A bumper crop of cold-water crazies turned out for Saturday’s 2014 Habitat for Humanity February Freeze at the Cape Charles Beach. Watch the video to see who gets the wettest, and keep a sharp eye out for Kiptopeke Elementary Principal Subrina Parker. As always, swim instructor/polar bear Victor Abrahamian spent the longest time in the water (and actually “swam” a few strokes at the finish). Click bottom right of box for full-screen view (but don’t get wet!).
February 10, 2014
An Atlanta performing arts production company will present “Perception,” an original play 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at the Palace Theatre. Tickets are $12.
Perception is the love story of Hamilton and Margaret, a newlywed couple who fall deeply in love and share that love with the baby of their dreams. Their dream is shattered when Margaret awakes one morning to find their baby not breathing and herself on the verge of insanity. Hamilton soon finds himself struggling with the desire to want to move on with their lives but has to figure out a way to deal with his wife’s instability which leaves him at a crossroads. In addition to dealing with his wife’s instability, he now has to deal with a mother-in-law who is willing to do anything to keep her daughter’s marriage together and a best friend who isn’t forthcoming about the troubles of his own marriage. The story of Perception leads one on a dangerous ride that involves love, lust, and betrayal. Are you ready to have your Perception of Love changed?
By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
February 5, 2014
Newly elected Governor Terry McAuliffe came to town yesterday bearing a gift — a $150,000 grant for Bayshore Concrete Products in return for creating 135 jobs. The expansion at Bayshore comes after a debilitating dry spell: Bayshore General Manager Chad Saunders noted that in 2012, production was down by half. And in 2013 things got even worse: Bayshore poured only 20 percent of its normal amount of concrete.
All that is changing now that Bayshore has won some big contracts: Great Egg Harbor Bridge in New Jersey, the Bayonne Bridge between Bayonne, NJ, and Staten Island, NY, and most recently for New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge. In order to ship larger concrete products out of Cape Charles, Bayshore is spending $4 million on harbor infrastructure.
Northampton Economic Development Director Charles McSwain said that for Bayshore to qualify for the state grant money, both Northampton County and the Town of Cape Charles had to “partner” in the endeavor by providing their own tax incentives to Bayshore. The county and the town will “forgive” Bayshore the increased property taxes for 10 years that it otherwise would pay on up to $1.8 million of infrastructure improvements. Based on current tax rates, that translates to $12,000 county annual tax relief and $5,000 for the town, for a total over 10 years of $170,000.
In December the Town of Cape Charles also awarded Bayshore Concrete a “stimulus grant” that will refund to the company the increased machinery and tools tax it otherwise would pay on its infrastructure improvements. Town Manager Heather Arcos told the Wave she estimates the value to Bayshore in town tax credits at roughly $10,000 a year for five years. The total tax relief package for Bayshore from the town and the county equals about $220,000.
“Things are looking up,” said County Chairman Larry LeMond, “after a difficult last five years.” As Vice President of Bay Coast Railroad, LeMond has every reason to be pleased: Bay Coast Railroad is largely dependent on business from Bayshore, as the cement to cast concrete products arrives on Bay Coast rail cars.
The arrival of the governor shut down Bayshore operations for a couple of hours as every employee gathered at a tent set up for the ceremony. When McAuliffe spoke the magic word “jobs,” the employees clapped and cheered.
January 30, 2014
We take a drive down Mason Avenue and over the Hump so you don’t have to. (Click bottom right of window for full screen view.)
By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
December 7, 2013
Rarely is anything printed in the Wave that does not relate directly to the Eastern Shore. But the passing of Nelson Mandela compels me to write about what he meant to me. I offer this commentary to those who may be interested, while recognizing that it is not for everyone.
Among the early accounts of Mandela’s death December 5 at age 95 was a striking quote from, of all people, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He said: “President Mandela’s life is the closest thing we have to proof of God.” I would call that an overstatement, but I agree with the sentiment that Mandela, at least within the group of people we label politicians, was heads and shoulders above all the others. Mandela was a modern statesman in a time when the word seems obsolete.
Somewhere in my old collection of VHS tapes I have the Sunday morning recording I made of Mandela’s release from prison February 11, 1990, after 27 years of confinement. At the time I was training for my upcoming assignment to South Africa as a political aide to the U.S. ambassador.
I arrived in South Africa in June, just four months after Mandela’s release from prison. The country was in a state of hypertension, with all races fearful that a civil war would shortly erupt. For more than a decade, the conventional wisdom had been that war was inevitable.
This was where Mandela showed his genius for toughness encased in humility. During the negotiations between his African National Congress and the white ruling government, his eloquence, humility, intellect, determination, and yes – sense of humor – eroded the white power structure’s long-held conviction that a black president would run their nation into the ground, just as they had seen happen in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. [Read more...]
December 6, 2013
Now that the air and water has finally cooled, trucks and boat trailers overrun the parking lot and roads around Cape Charles harbor — sure signs that the rockfish season is now in full swing. This time of year also marks the start of the North Atlantic right whale calving season which begins in November and runs through April. The whales are now migrating from their normal habitat in northeast U.S and Canada to the south coast of Georgia and Florida. NOAA Fisheries reminds boaters to be aware of these whales, and to take precautions to avoid collisions. There are fewer than 400 left, making them the most endangered marine mammal in the world.
The right whale got its name from northeast whalers who called it “the right whale” to hunt. These mammals had large amounts of blubber, were very slow swimmers, and once harpooned, tended to roll over and float, making them easy to strip and clean. Chapters 93-96 in Melville’s Moby Dick describe capturing the whale and the process of cutting the blubber into sections and preparing it for rendering.
Adult whales average 40-55 feet in length, can weigh up to 140,000 pounds, and may live up to 50 years. They spend the majority of their lives in the zooplankton- rich waters off northeastern U.S. and Canada. (Having no teeth, they mainly feed on copepods, euphausiids, and cyprids). In the fall of each year pregnant females migrate south to give birth to calves that are 10-15 feet long and weigh up to 1.5 metric tons. After birth, the calves drink mother’s milk for 8 to 17 months.
The coasts of Georgia and Florida are the only known calving areas for right whales, and NOAA wants to raise awareness of their migratory patterns and movement. The biggest issue is that, even as it would seem easy to spot something as big as a whale, in reality it is very difficult. They are dark, do not have dorsal fins, and swim just below the surface of the water. The only way is to be keenly aware of any changes in the texture of the water surface. [Read more...]