One Last Option: Abandon Route 13 Sewer Plans

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report is reprinted by permission from the January 2015 issue of ShoreLine, the Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore newsletter.)


January 5, 2014

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Public Service Authority, after recently giving itself authority to contract for the $2.4 million sewer pipeline from the Route 13 Cheriton area to the Cape Charles wastewater plant, was given yet more directions from the Northampton County Board of Supervisors. Board Chairman Larry LeMond, representing District 2, which includes Cheriton, has on more than one occasion said that he wanted to see all the optons for service to that area. But the PSA has provided engineering information on only one option – piping sewage to the Cape Charles treatment plant.

The Supervisors recently approved $10,000 for another engineering study and requested that the PSA provide figures for construction and costs to pipe sewage to the nearby Bayview system, which is operated by the county. The engineering for the Bayview option, which may well be a less expensive alternative, will be done by Hurt and Proffitt, a Lynchburg firm – the same firm which has in-hand the PSA’s multi-million-dollar projected contract for the Cape Charles option.

Even though the Board of Supervisors has requested that all options be brought to the table by the PSA, there are at least two more alternatives for which engineering and cost estimates have not been submitted. First, at least 10 years ago research was done on a stand-alone, on-site wastewater treatment system often used in rural commercial areas, especially where there are few users in a small locale. These small, but expandable plants are usually funded and maintained either by the users themselves, or by a locality’s public works department.

A recent EPA report has stated that small, decentralized sewer systems, including septic and alternative systems, are an effective and efficient way to protect water quality where population density is small: “On June 28, 2013, EPA released a model program for onsite wastewater treatment systems in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to help states more effectively prevent nutrients from entering the Bay . . . . When properly designed, sited, and maintained, decentralized systems like septic systems can treat wastewater effectively and protect surface water and groundwater.” ( [Read more…]

WAYNE CREED: Thoughts on Two Years Without a Net

Town Manager Bob Panek ordered basketball backboards and nets removed December 26, 2012, for “safekeeping.” The Wave has been running this poignant picture ever since.


January 5, 2015

As the holidays end, the realization that winter is really here finally begins to sink in. The colder air and diminishing light began to incubate my seasonal affective funk. This growing malaise is compounded by the fact that my son’s fall sports — JJV football and Shore Soccer — are also over. Sitting on my front porch steps, I’m watching him, in a cold, light rain, dribble up and down the wet sidewalk. One way to avoid the inevitable winter depression is to stay as busy as possible; self-tasking, I try to help Joey begin the transition to winter sports: basketball. Going over the fundamentals, defense by Kevin Garnet and Gary Payton, workout routines by Steve Nash — this kind of work is good, but not fun; he still really wants to go out and play for real. Being an old Knicks fan, I try and remind him of what Bill Bradley used to say, “When you’re not out practicing, someone else is. And when you meet that person, he’s going to beat you.”

True, yet even Bill would have to admit it’s tough here for ballers, since there isn’t anywhere in Cape Charles to truly practice or play (Cape Charles Baptist Church has one goal in a small area for every player in and around town. The backboard has already been crashed once). The outside courts at the old school, perfect for the urban ¾ game, have been taken down, and the beautiful old court inside is being chopped up and turned into apartments.

A few weeks ago, the Wave published a story about the developer of the old school. As usual, there were several interesting comments, but one really struck me. This person said in his comment that he really didn’t have a dog in the fight, but was against the town keeping the courts public. Yet in the same breath he said he hoped the folks that wanted a “community center” would eventually get one. I had to wonder just what it would have taken for him to have a dog in the fight. From my perspective, it was easy because my dog was mainly sports — indoor and outdoor. Without the gym and outside courts, I just don’t see how you can even pursue the concept of a “community center.” [Read more…]


Time to Deregulate Home-Cooked Meals


January 5, 2015

I have recently been reading articles in various news media about the Virginia Food Freedom Act which will come before the Virginia House of Delegates for the January 15, 2015, session. Many of these articles reference a woman in Arlington who lost her job and could not find work no matter how hard she tried. Rather than lose her home she decided that she would try to raise money by making soup and other food and selling it to her neighbors and friends. She was so successful that when a local radio show asked who made the best soup, she was mentioned again and again. This is a classic American tale of triumph over disaster. In the rags to riches movies we’ve seen, this lady would go on to build her business so that she could continue to churn out home-cooked meals for her town and in time grow to provide employment for others.

But how did this story actually turn out? Unfortunately, the health department also heard the news and she was shut down despite the fact that there were no complaints or illnesses. Now, I take no issue with the health department as they are doing what the law requires them to do. But is it really necessary for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to get involved in local neighbor-to-neighbor sales of homemade goods?

House Bill No. 1290 amends five sections of Virginia state law to exempt food prepared or processed in a private home or farm from government inspection provided that the food is sold directly to the end consumer and is labeled with the producer’s name, address, and product ingredients and the disclosure “NOT FOR RESALE — PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION.” CLICK to read this Bill.

So why am I interested in this Bill? For several years now I have been investigating the impact food has on my health. I had begun to understand that my health was declining, my weight was increasing, I had no energy, and very little motivation in life. I found it hard to believe that this general malaise was a natural part of aging. I began reading books and blogs and signed up for webinars looking for solutions that referenced scientific studies. Then about a year ago, I stumbled upon the Weston A. Price Foundation which is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism. (CLICK for website.) Their literature resonated with me and slowly I began following their dietary guidelines. Once I retired I was able to incorporate these guidelines into our daily lives. It has been a slow process but my husband and I are starting to feel more optimistic about our health. I’ll discuss these food principles in another article. As a result of this study I began to realize that for me it is really important to prepare most of our meals at home using traditional foods and avoiding those that have been processed. We’ve been trying to follow the 80/20 rule in which we eat at home 80 percent of the time and enjoy our wonderful local restaurants on occasion. [Read more…]