SHORE THING: Looking for a Place to Party

Last Chamber party of the year will be at the corner of Mason and Bay — better than the gazebo, but still not a harbor party. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

August 30, 2012

Another street party this Saturday night – the final “Celebrate the Sun,” hosted by the Northampton Chamber of Commerce. I hope they get it right this time because, well – frankly, the last party was a bust.

That was the “Gazebo Party,” finally consummated July 28 after two cancellations due to rain. I strolled down to take a few pictures, but not much of a crowd was there. The organizers wanted $5 to cross a police line, so I just took my photos from the other side of the yellow tape. The band played on, but it was a sad little affair at the corner of Randolph and Bay.

Contrast that with the Harbor parties the Chamber put on last year. Folks, the Town Harbor is a destination – Bay Avenue is not. (Beach yes, street no.) At the harbor you see boats docked in the water, you see a dramatic sunset on the bay, you feel part of something special.

Why do you think dockside restaurants are so popular (read: The Shanty). Not because their fish is any fresher than half a mile away in town – it’s all about ambiance.

But for reasons still unclear to me, there can be no more harbor parties. I left voicemails with the town manager and assistant town manager asking why, but got only an email from the assistant clerk: “We can no longer use the harbor because there is not enough room with The Shanty there now.”

Not enough room? Then how did our harbor master, Smitty Dize, pull off the hugely successful Clam Slam festival earlier this month? There must have been a thousand people swarming the harbor, including vendors, musicians, and food stands.

And the Shanty restaurant was packed as well, just as you would expect.

And what about the Tall Ships festival? Plenty of room for that at the harbor — and again, I don’t think the Shanty was complaining. [Read more…]

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LETTER: Ignorance about Old School Is Not Bliss

August 30, 2012


Everyone has heard the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” But unfortunately, ignorance is not always bliss. Not when ignorance means not knowing the facts.

Last Thursday at the Town Council meeting, many people came to give public comment regarding what has become a truly heated issue. I will admit that I arrived with my verbal guns ready to blaze. Was I rude to some people as they approached the building? Yes, and for that I am sorry.

Most people who know me know I am pretty laid back — until my feathers get ruffled. Then it’s “look out.” I’m sure many people that don’t know me thought, “Who the heck is that crazy woman?” So I’m writing this letter to tell who I am and why my feathers were standing straight up.

I am a person that believes in honesty, fair play, and governmental transparency. I came to the meeting knowing that honesty, fair play, and governmental transparency were five words that would not be in the room.

I knew that many people attending the meeting were ignorant about how we got where we were.

I knew that those same people were going to stand at the microphone and speak out against a community center and in favor of what our mayor and Town Council wanted, with no background on how that decision was made.

Driving to that meeting, I knew our public officials, the very people that we voted into office, the very people that our hard-earned money pays a salary to, had stacked the deck against the community center. I knew before the meeting took place what the outcome would be. [Read more…]