6 Months of WAVES — And Counting!

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year — or Happy One-Half Year, in the case of the Cape Charles Wave. Your hometown online newspaper is now six months old.

The Wave came about because two longtime journalists — one an old hand on the Eastern Shore, the other a newcomer — agreed that Cape Charles needed its own newspaper. In the days of print journalism, that would not have been practical for such a small town, but with the Internet it was doable.

And although the staff makeup has changed since July 1, we’ve been making WAVES for 26 weeks now.

The Google Analytics chart above tells the story, with each of the 26 dots representing one week’s readership. By August, we were humming along at close to 2,500 reads per week. After a lull, readership jumped in November, and after another lull, made the biggest gains in December.

Since only about 1,000 people live in Cape Charles, a lot of our readers obviously live out of town. In fact, about one fourth of them don’t even live in Virginia. And even among in-state readers, the majority reside outside Cape Charles town limits.

Whether tourists, or former residents, or future come-heres, it appears that a lot of out-of-towners are keeping up with the local news.

The purpose of the Wave is to serve as an electronic medium to spread news, events, and discussion about the Cape Charles area. As we begin a new year, the Wave wants to thank our “heroes” — the folks who have recognized the mission of the Wave and in one way or another have helped it to succeed.

In alphabetical order (by first name), our 2012 Wave heroes are:

— Audrey Nottingham, whose pictures and story of the Nativity scenes at Pfeiffer Riding Stables  gave us a wonderful Christmas present — not just for the report, but because Audrey fulfilled our highest hopes for the Wave: citizen journalists writing about and photographing a local event and publishing it in the Wave;

— Barbara Brown, for sharing her nice article and picture for publication;

— Bruce Lindeman, who writes eloquently, intimately, and regularly of his adopted part-time village and its denizens he knows so well;

— Deborah Bender, for commenting early and often on the Old School cause dear to her heart;

— Don Riley, the Wave’s “Man about Town,” who tips us off whenever he spots something that doesn’t look right, or smells fishy;

— Donna Bozza, for featuring the Wave on her Facebook page way back in July — our first big break! — and for her ESO and other arts publicity;

— Mayor Dora Sullivan, for reading the Wave every day and even sending in a comment or two, in contrast to the one or two Town Council members who refuse to read us (they say);


— Ettore Zuccarino, the Eastern Shore’s Leonardo, for contributing to the community and to the Wave;

— Joan Natali, for promoting the Wave in Cape Charles Happenings (Click CLASSIFIEDS at the top of the page for a subscription link to CC Happenings.);

— Police Officer Jim Pruitt for including the Wave when organizing the Park tribute to a fallen officer;

— Karen Jolly Davis, the creator of the Wave, and author of stories ranging from plein air art, to unpaid taxes, to Robin Hood, to the plight of local migrant workers. We miss you Karen!

— Libby Hume, town clerk, for cheerfully responding to our endless information requests;

— Michael O’Beirne, British businessman, who wrote about Cape Charles’ Foreign Trade Zone — what it is, and how it is endangered;

— Mike Killebrew for his elegant tribute to AQUA and its staff;

— Randall Parks, who tirelessly crusaded for an elected county school board, and spread the word through the Wave;

— Roger Munz, for his comments, one of which now fills the window of the building next to the Coffeehouse.

— Sarah Barban, a journalist with family roots in Cape Charles who briefly covered Northampton County Supervisors and Schools before moving on to a bigger (and better-paying!) paper. Kock ‘em out in Dover, Sarah!

— Susan Bauer, who despite her disagreement with Wave editorial policy, nevertheless contributed a magnanimous letter: “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

— Chief Sambo Brown, for citing the Wave’s statistics as the authority on boat trailer parking;

— Sandy Mayer, for keeping the Wave in the loop, whether she’s decorating a golf cart, rescuing homeless kittens, or baking a tomato cake.

— Smitty Dize, harbor master, for including the Wave in his phenomenal Clam Slam.

— Tim Krawczel, for his perceptive commentary as a former town manager;

— Ted Warner, Northampton High teacher and newcomer, who loves the arts and who both reviewed and photographed A Piece of Eden. Ted promises more for 2013;

— Victor Abrahamian, supporter of the arts, for recognizing the Wave’s potential to publicize local artistic endeavors;

— Wayne Creed, the town’s best-known blogger, who has “cleaned up his act” to write some significant columns for the Wave — most recently “Town Lessons from A Charlie Brown Christmas”;

— Our Advertisers: Amy Nottingham (Nottingham Seafood), Angie Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer Riding Stables), Brooks Johnson (Sunset Beach Grille), Charlene Dix (Appleseed Porch & Garden), Dawn Flynn (King’s Creek Inn), David Gay (Burke campaign), Gene Kelly (Kelly’s Gingernut Pub), Jon & Mike (Shanty), Mary Scott (Sting-Ray’s), Meredith Restein (Moonrise Jewelry), and Tim Brown (Hook U Up). Thanks to you, we’re not out of pocket for equipment, web hosting fees, software, and subscriber services.

Will the Wave be around to wave goodbye to 2013 and wave hello to 2014? We go day by day. Readership statistics are encouraging, but more important is community participation. If enough townspeople are interested in having a town paper, we’ll keep it going. The key is how many Audrey Nottinghams, Ted Warners, Sarah Barbans, Wayne Creeds, and Bruce Lindemans we have in Cape Charles. If enough people contribute the way those folks did in 2012, the Wave will have a promising future.

HAPPY 2013 from the WAVE!




3 Responses to “6 Months of WAVES — And Counting!”

  1. Roger L. Munz on January 1st, 2013 10:46 am

    George and Dorie, Congratulations for having the foresight and courage to bring to the fore the news and events the town needs to know about, and discuss in open forum. This past 1/2 year has been far more lively in town with your help. I am not taking sides here on some of the issues but I firmly believe the town residents have learned more of what’s happening in town than ever before.
    As a true measure of your impact, the readers only need to ask themselves one question: Have I learned something from this daily reading experience? My answer has always been a resounding YES.
    Keep up the good work, now and in the future.

  2. Bruce Lindeman on January 1st, 2013 4:45 pm

    George, what Roger said! Seriously, keep it up! The town needs this outlet for news and thought.

    You too, Bruce!

  3. Kathy Bahri on January 2nd, 2013 9:55 am

    Congratulations on the first six months!! The Wave is one of my favorite publications. Good work, Dorie and George — see you in 2013!