PHOTO: These Snow Birds Just Won’t Chicken Out

Photo by Karen Davis

(Photo: Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns)

United Poultry Concerns founder Karen Davis submitted this week’s snow photo, featuring three of her sanctuary birds. “We got hit with lots of snow this winter, but our sanctuary birds have braved the elements with fortitude and good cheer,” she reports. “Some of the white hens in these photos were flown by private jet from California battery cages in 2013 following their rescue by Animal Place, yet here they are, tramping about in winter wonderland in Machipongo, Virginia!” (Published March 9, 2015)


Dufty Reads Riot Act to County Planning Commission

March 9, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: Exmore community activist Ken Dufty continues to hold Northampton County officials’ feet to the fire, as evidenced in his latest letter to the Planning Commission. Of particular and novel interest is the issue of whether an owner of a commercial “barn,” apparently built to hold events, fundraisers, and other public gatherings, could do so “by right” if the owner offered hay rides to party and wedding guests. Dufty does not mention any owner by name, leaving the Wave to speculate that developer Bill Parr’s barn is the object of attention.


It is becoming crystal clear that both the ongoing revisions to the current Northampton County Zoning Ordinance and the 2009 Comprehensive Plan are being conducted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and are devoid of the required studies and other empirical data that must be relied upon to make the decisions that are now being proposed.

Last week at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, [County Planner] Peter Stith was asked by Supervisor [Granville] Hogg why the revisions to the Comprehensive Plan did not involve the citizenry at the beginning of the process, rather than the current plan to present a final product to residents and business owners once the Plan had been revised.

Mr. Stith answered that they did involve the citizenry in surveys and workshops about three years ago. I have attached a copy of the responses to those surveys which 188 people filled out. Overwhelmingly, the respondants to those surveys conducted by the county said that it was “very important” that the Comprehensive Plan protect groundwater recharge areas and concerns; protect floodplains; preserve Priority Conservation Areas; protect Historic Sites, ensure Septic Suitability; and also directed the drafters of the Comprehensive Plan update to factor in rate of growth (majority wanted 1-2% rate of growth), and said that it was very important to create a balance between jobs and housing.

We are curious if the Planning Commission ever received the reponses to the surveys and the notes from the community meetings. If you did not, it is incumbent upon you to access that information, factor it into your deliberations, and then offer credible and defendable evidentiary basis to support your version of the plan, which turns its back on the will of the people as captured in the survey responses.   As many of you know, in order for any decision of a county government to withstand a judicial challenge, it has to rise to a level to be fairly debatable.   Simply ignoring and not responding to a key piece of evidence, such as a community survey and input from public workshops, tips the scales of this review firmly into the arena of arbitrary and capricious behavior, recommendation, and final decision. [Read more…]

PHOTO ESSAY: The House at 113 Tazewell


Geraldine Richardson Scott was born in this house 93 years ago. She revisited it recently with her daughter, Nancy Phillips, and son John Scott. (Photos: Kim Abod)

Cape Charles Historical Society

March 9, 2015

This is the story of the family that built the house at 113 Tazewell, and a glimpse of what life was like in Cape Charles in the early part of the 20th century when Geraldine Richardson’s parents raised their three children there. The house was built in 1914 by C.H. Legg, a building contractor in Cape Charles who also was busy laying some of the sidewalks in town. (He marked his work by leaving metal plates stamped with his name. Some still remain today.)

Geraldine Richardson Scott

This story begins with a late summer encounter when Sarah Kepple was visiting Cape Charles and wanted to see the house where her grandmother Geraldine Richardson Scott was born and grew up. The last time she had seen the house it was in great dis- repair and appeared abandoned, so she was happily surprised to see the house completely renovated including a nicely designed addition.

She called her  to let her know about the amazing transition. Grandma said, “You should go knock on the door and tell them that your great-grandparents built this house.” So she did. The person who happened to be in the house was Missy, the sister of part time resident Kim Abod, who along with husband Craig bought and renovated the house.

Through a series of emails and phone calls, arrangements were made, and on November 7, a spry and witty Geraldine, now 93 years old and living in Norfolk, returned with two of her children, Nancy Phillips and John Scott, to the home where she was born in 1921. [Read more…]


Town Planning Commission OKs New Comp Plan

Cape Charles Wave

March 9, 2015

The Cape Charles Planning Commission met March 3 at the Civic Center, and on the agenda was a review of the changes to the Comprehensive Plan, as well as discussion of a new Tourist Zone.

Comprehensive Plans need to be revised every five years, and going back to 2013, the Planning Commission, under the guidance and tutelage of Elaine Meil, executive director of the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, gamely tackled the revision process. It is important to note that this was not a complete rewrite of the 2009 version; the process involved reviewing the 2009 plan, and then making any changes or updates that are more relevant to where the town is now versus five years ago.

Despite retaining the spirit of the 2009 version, there were still several changes, and citizens may wish to take the time to review them. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the changes and sent on to Town Council for review in April.

The draft Comp Plan is available on the Town’s website (CLICK). Here are some highlights:


An analysis of the Town’s 2010 Census data shows that 41% of Town households are cost burdened. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines cost burdened households as families who pay more than 30% of their income for all of their housing expenses including utilities. The largest cost burdened group are households who own a home with a mortgage (76), renters (56), and households who own a home without a mortgage (38). The Town needs to be concerned.


Mason Avenue and Bay Avenue street improvements should be evaluated and include addition of bicycle lanes, reverse angle parking and aesthetic improvements to promote safety and increase parking spaces. Improvements to the Town’s sidewalks and multi-use paths are also needed to support alternative means of transportation such as walking, biking, and golf cart usage, which are expected to be used more frequently as the population increases. [Read more…]