Town Responds to ‘Red Tide Rising’ in Harbor

Water sample taken from Town Harbor at floating docks near discharge pipe from Town waterworks. (Wave photo)

Water sample taken from Town Harbor at floating docks near discharge pipe. (Wave photo)


September 1, 2013

Hours after a “Gossip” item entitled RED TIDE RISING appeared August 30 in the Wave, the Town of Cape Charles issued a special edition of the Gazette to address the issue of a red liquid being discharged into the Town Harbor.

On Friday afternoon, the Town Police Department delivered copies of the Gazette to local businesses for distribution to their customers.

The Gossip item noted that “now that floating docks have been installed next to the Coast Guard Station where the yacht repair facility is being built, people can walk along the bulkhead at the water line. There they can see an underwater pipe capped at the end. If they time their visit just right, somewhat like viewing “Old Faithful” at Yellowstone National Park, they will be treated to an eruption of red liquid spewing out into the harbor. Word has it that the pipe hooks to the new sewage treatment plant, and the discharge comes when plant filters are backwashed.”

The Gazette confirmed that the discharge is from backwash, “but we want to assure you that the discolored water is from the water plant not the wastewater treatment plant.” The Gazette further noted that the Town is working with the state Department of Environmental Quality “regarding corrective measures to alleviate the discharge of the discolored water.” [Read more…]


Bing Recognizes Cape Charles Wave As Local News Source


August 31, 2013

Heard of Bing? It’s Microsoft’s answer to Google, albeit a very weak voice against the Google powerhouse.

A year ago in August, Google News accepted the Cape Charles Wave as a source of local information. Google News readers who search “Cape Charles” get a listing of online news from local sources. Typically, 9 out of 10 of the news articles are from the Wave.

To be accredited as a Google news source, the Wave had to demonstrate that it publishes information that would normally be found in a newspaper, such as news reports, feature stories, opinion columns, obituaries, classifieds, and letters to the editor. The Wave was also required to have a public “face” — meaning that its editors and reporters are clearly identified by name.

Now, a year later, Bing News has also accepted the Wave as a local news source. But using Bing News is trickier than using Google. First, enter in your browser, and then search for “Cape Charles.” Be sure to use the quotation marks – otherwise you’ll get stories about Cape Town and Prince Charles mixed in. Finally, choose the option “Past 7 days” or you might find news stories up to 10 years old.

Bing News search engine top hits for "Cape Charles" are from the Wave.

Bing News search engine top hits for “Cape Charles” are from the Wave.

[Read more…]

Cheriton Town Council Endorses Mandatory Sewer Hookups
To Cape Charles Treatment Plant


August 30, 2013

Cheriton Town Council agreed August 28 on language “supporting the PSA [Public Service Authority] to introduce sewer service from Cape Charles,” adding that “the Town of Cheriton is willing to require mandatory sewer hookups in the agreed upon sewer service area.”

Cheriton Town Council authorized Mayor Joseph Habel to send a letter to Willie Randall, chairman of Northampton County Board of Supervisors. The support for hooking up to the Cape Charles sewer treatment plant gets only a small mention in the letter, which focuses on a proposed boundary adjustment that would nearly triple Cheriton’s land area and increase seasonal population by 75 percent.

Mayor Habel’s letter states that “due to soils with severe limitations for septic drainfields in approximately 41 percent of the undeveloped area [of Cheriton], new residential development is difficult for 20,000 square-foot lots without central sewer facilities.”

“The viability of the Town of Cheriton’s central business district and existing residential development . . . will also be strengthened by provision of central sewer facilities,” he wrote. [Read more…]


SUNDAY 9/1: Annual Picnic in Central Park

Everyone is invited to Cape Charles’ annual Labor Day weekend Picnic in the Park, 5-10 p.m. Sunday, September 1. [Read more…]

Mothers of Preschoolers Support Group Meetings Begin September 9

Northampton County MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets the second Monday of every month (starting September 9 through May 12) in the Cape Charles Baptist Educational Building from 7-9 p.m.  [Read more…]

County, Cheriton Urged to Rethink Cape Charles Sewerage


August 29, 2013

Speakers at two public meetings this week have urged officials to rethink their endorsement of extending sewage treatment to Route 13 from the Cape Charles treatment plant.

Speaking at the Northampton County Board of Supervisors meeting August 26, Supervisor Rick Hubbard said the County needs “a better understanding of what we have set in motion.”

Last night (August 28), Cape Charles resident Deborah Bender addressed Cheriton Town Council, warning them “not to get involved with the Cape Charles Wastewater Plant.” Bender is a member of the political action group CAPE-C: “Citizen Advocates Promoting Effective Change.”


After reflecting on our Board meeting of 13 August, I feel we may have overlooked some things or at least need a better understanding of what we have set in motion. I believe the entire Board truly believes that it is necessary to develop infrastructure in the area of the Cape Charles stop light and has no desire to harm the economic development of the town.

1) Before further engineering studies or plans are done for the project, we must have in place an acceptable, long term fixed rate cost for treatment of waste water to be used by the project.

2) We also need to be sure that the current Cape Charles treatment plant is on sound financial footing and the PSA could not be held responsible for “new” unexpected costs associated with that plant. [Read more…]


SATURDAY 8/31: Jammin’ at the Jetty Features Music, Food

Celebrate the summer with friends and family at the open air festival “Jammin’ at the Jetty” at the Cape Charles beachfront (corner of Mason & Bay Avenues) on Saturday, August 31, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. [Read more…]

1 Comment

EDITORIAL: The Developer’s Wife

August 28, 2013

An earnest commenter, upon reading the Wave’s story about the developer who plans to convert the Old School into an apartment building, wrote, “I don’t think it’s fair to smear someone’s name just for “knowing” another person. . . . Mary [McCormack, wife of developer J. David McCormack] is one of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I am sure there are lots of people here on the Shore that would agree with me that her name should not even be brought into this mess.”

Indeed, it’s a journalistic axiom when reporting the actions of a public figure that family members’ privacy should be respected. But what about when the public figure himself brings up his wife’s name?

In this case, developer McCormack, addressing a meeting of the Cape Charles Planning Commission, noted that his wife, Mary, “just by sheer coincidence realized that she had a relationship with Heather [Arcos, the town manager].” The Wave videotaped McCormack’s statement (to the discomfiture of the Planning Commission chair), and the video may be viewed by clicking here.

Why is it newsworthy that the wife of a developer “had a relationship” with the town manager? Because what the Town did with the Old School property was highly irregular. When authorities decide to divest public property, it is unusual to give it away, and even more unusual to pay a developer $41,000 to take it – especially when the property was valued on the tax rolls at $900,000.

If a municipality wants to sell public land, it normally would advertise for bids, and then sell to the highest bidder. That didn’t happen in Cape Charles. Instead, Town Council met secretly with McCormack. No one else knew that Town Council was considering selling the building (much less paying someone to take it). Most people still thought the Cape Charles Christian School was going to lease the building. [Read more…]