WAYNE CREED: Is Reverse Parking a Communist Plot?

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 22, 2015

As Cape Charles is once again menaced by the threat of International Communism, inflammatory statements (aka the Truth), as well as the Virginia Department of Transportation, town citizens that value freedom as a state much prized within the realm of civilized society, the very stuff and pith of all we hold most dear to our hearts, have taken to the streets to protest the bloody implementation of reverse angle parking — an offense which, many feel, has been unfairly inflicted upon the earthy, owl eyed harbingers of truth, must meet its reckoning, and not a moment too soon.

For the record, the process to achieve higher density parking in Cape Charles began a year ago. The discussions began before the sale of the Be-Lo property, and the loss of overflow parking there. Even though this is a “Town Issue,” nothing happens on that street without the Virginia Department of Transportation. After several public Planning Commission meetings, VDOT’s consensus was that if there was going to be angle parking, it was going to be of the reverse angle variety. The Planning Commission’s recommendation was completely consistent with the VDOT edict. Even though there was ample opportunity for citizens to comment, none, including prominent citizen Schulz, was there to take issue and voice their views. It was later determined that the citizenry could not attend said meetings due to laborious and time consuming efforts aimed at addressing the aggravated lack of Pol le Veq, Porceileu, Savoy Aire, Sampolan, Carrier de lest, and Bres Bleu cheeses at the local Food Lion.

Faced with prime, blue ribbon apathy, and no citizen input, as well as chunks of modern (from this century) theory and research seeming to promote reverse angle parking as the hottest new chick at the dance, the Town rightly or wrongly, boldly and audaciously accepted the opinion of persons with some qualifications, and acquiesced to VDOT’s yen to paint reverse angle spaces on Mason Avenue. [Read more…]


WAYNE CREED: How to Bring Avian Flu to Northampton

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 15, 2015

As Northampton County continues to grapple with the ramifications of the proposed zoning changes, still lurking in the shadows is the subtle opening of the door for the poultry industry, including CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), as well as chicken litter waste incinerators. Having less available expansion options left on the northern Delmarva, the industry finally hopes to gain a foothold in Northampton County.

While the special, and even conflicted, interests continued to gather in the back rooms of Northampton to plot their next moves in efforts to make the county “more profitable” through proposed zoning changes, it was reported in the New York Times by Stephanie Strom that the deadly avian flu had struck some of the largest egg operations in the Midwest where millions of chickens will have to be euthanized.

The Center Fresh Group, a top U.S. egg producer must kill (using carbon dioxide or foam) and dispose of about 5.5 million laying hens housed in 26 metal barns on their property. For the last month, the daily ritual of the Agriculture Department has become to report how many more hens must be destroyed. On extreme days, the number can be several million. In Iowa, where a good bit of all eggs originate (including liquid egg products), nearly 40% of the egg laying hens have been affected by the flu.

This is creating a monstrous disposal problem, as carcasses have filled barns; poultry farmers have been pleading for state and federal assistance to deal the disposal effort, as “workers in masks and hazmat gear attempt to clear the barns.” Part of the issue is the way the battery hens are crammed in, with the battery cages stacked on top of each other, usually filling almost every square inch, top to bottom, of the barns. [Read more…]

WAYNE CREED: 96% Vegan, 2% Vegetarian, 2% Cheater

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 8, 2015

May was International Respect for Chickens Month, a short time when, I hoped, maybe a few would stop and see chickens (actually all animals) as someone, not something. Unfortunately, it seemed that everywhere I looked, there was some kind of poultry sale going on, from Food Lion to KFC to Popeyes, and Burger King even went big with its “chicken fries” campaign. It also seemed some of the foodie sites and magazines were abnormally meat heavy. My good buddy Karen Gay of the Wave’s “Alternative Table” even ran a story May 4 (Respect Chicken Day) promoting eating animals as a way to lose weight and be “healthy.”

Of course, people are free to make their own choices and eat what they want. This is America, and with Memorial Day and picnics and grilling season and all that, I guess this was to be expected.

That said, what kind of rubs many vegans the wrong way is that the subtext of this “meat-eater”-centric narrative implies that those who choose a plant power based lifestyle are somehow this odd group of stringy haired, Birkenstock wearing weaklings (adorned in unfashionable socks that hide neglected toenails), lost waifs, emaciated, and vulnerable wisps, wasting away and ready to be blown away by the wind. Truth: not only can you succeed athletically on a plant-based diet, it is the way to clean out, balance, and increase performance in every part of your of life.

Ultraman Race top finisher Rich Roll (Ultraman is a 10 K open ocean swim, a 261.4 mile cross-country bike ride, and a 52.4 mile ultra-marathon), Triathletes Brendan Brazier, Hillary Biscay, and Scott Jurek (Ultramarathoner) have proven that vegans can compete at the top levels of endurance sport. MMA/UFC fighters like Mac Danzig and Jake Shields are also athletes that use a plant based diet. This tennis season, take a few moments to watch the Wimbledon, French, or US Opens, and see how well the beautiful Serena Williams performs (arguably the most dominant athlete in her sport). After injuries, illness, fatigue, and trouble with muscle recovery, both Williams sisters switched to a plant based diet. (Venus went plant based after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome.) Serena, after going vegan, won her fifth US Open title. [Read more…]


Backwards Parking, Chimneys, and Wee King Neptune

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

June 1, 2015

In last week’s Wave, it was reported that a smaller version of Virginia Beach’s giant Neptune sculpture had been donated by patron Wyndham Price, and would be placed on the boardwalk. What seemed like a very generous offer was instead attacked by some as being utterly inappropriate, almost an insult to our refined sensibilities. One critic said that the work should instead be “a more appropriate symbol signifying who we are.”

My first impression was that the town should immediately commission an artist to create a work to symbolize the “New Cape Charles,” one that conveys a narrative of who we are. Maybe a work comprised of a pig, a bird, and a snake to symbolize the three Buddhist poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

But then I stopped: Is “who we are” a question we really want answered?

A case in point: Over at the old library, now arbitrarily called the “Civic Center” instead of what it really is, the Town Hall, the Historic District Review Board recently voted to remove the chimneys because they were leaking. After several anemic attempts by Public Works to repair them, the town decided it would be easier to just tear them down.

It seems the town is always quite ready to hang its hat on the historical integrity of Cape Charles when it suits them (usually when developer tax credits are on the line), but when it comes to maintaining the integrity (historical character) of a true historical structure they seem more than willing to rape and violate it, generally out of nothing more than sheer laziness and incompetence.

For years, the town allowed the old school to fall into a state of disrepair. This was a willful and illegal act, and instead of making simple, inexpensive fixes, like new windows to keep out the water, they instead amused themselves by making up the most fraudulent stories about the place’s ultimate demise. Carpet baggers from Richmond have recently exposed those tall tales as nothing but silly little lies. [Read more…]


Blue Crabs, Menhaden Showing Resurgence in Bay

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

May 18, 2015

This summer, my daughter Rachel will be spending her summer break from college working at the Cherrystone Campground Bait and Tackle shop. The job duties include monitoring the weather, marking the tides on the chalk board, recommending bait and tackle for the campers, and of course, running down the rules and size limitations when it comes to summer flounder and blue crabs.

For crabs, she is trained to remind the folks to always throw back sooks carrying a sponge, and that jimmys must be 5 inches point to point. You can use tape a measure, or just the railing at the end of the pier, which is 5 inches.

This season, the pier at Cherrystone may have a bit more blue crab action, as results of the winter dredge survey showed modest improvement in the Bay’s blue crab fishery. According to results released by Maryland DNR, “juvenile crabs increased 35 percent from 2014, and more than doubled from the record low in 2013. The 2015 juvenile abundance of 269 million crabs is just above the 26 year average of 261 million. The total abundance of crabs — which include juveniles, and adult males and females – was approximately 411 million.”

Going back to the results of the last few years, including the disastrous drop in populations recorded in 2013, the latest results show just how volatile the blue crab population is, and how vulnerable it can be to factors such as weather patterns (colder winters), changes in coastal currents, and of course fluctuations in levels of natural predators such as rockfish and red drum.

This year, the report estimates that 19% of the crabs died due to the severe winter temperatures. Given this amount of environmental variability, the task of managing this fishery is still a daunting one. According to Tom Miller of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, “Managers acted to ensure the crab stock is no longer depleted as it was last year, and if we maintain exploitation rates close to the target the crab population will continue to increase over the long term.” [Read more…]

WAYNE CREED Dishes it out to Town Council (Again)

Wave Columnist

April 20, 2015

On this day, April 16, 2015, the Cape Charles Town Council met for its Regular Meeting, and Mayor George Proto announced it to be National Proclamation Day. Town Council then proceeded to the business of approving several new proclamations, including National Safe Boating Week Proclamation, National Police Week Proclamation, Building Safety Month Proclamation, National Public Works Week Proclamation and Municipal Clerks Week Proclamation. After each proclamation was approved, Mayor Proto read every word, every line in its entirety. If the CIA ever finds that they need a new, cutting edge torture procedure to use on terrorists, Proto may have just come across it for them. Half-way through proclamation recitations, even the most hardened individual would divulge any information just to make it stop.

This meeting was the first time new Town Manager Brent Manuel was in attendance proper; however it was Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek that did all the talking. During his report on the Cape Charles Community Trail, Panek seemed firm on following the precedent he set on previous adventures such as the overpriced and underperforming, yet exquisitely malodorous wastewater system, using a finely honed skillset of naiveté and hubris to once again drag hapless Cape Charles down the rabbit hole of benightedness.

During his report to Council, Panek informed them that the $95,000 engineering study was a teeny bit off. That is, after receiving actual bids on the work, the cost would be $350,000 more than was stated in the engineering study. There is no grant money available to make up the difference, so in typical Cape Charles fashion, the plan is to cut corners by sacrificing citizen safety. Just as the town was too cheap to place warning signs at the beach, and the lack of those signs led to the tragic drowning of a child last summer, they now plan to just use half the amount of lights to illuminate the trail at night. Of course, once someone gets raped or murdered, and the publicity might begin to affect the amount of cash being stuffed into the tourist tills, the Town will then add the additional lighting.

On the bright side, Chief Pruitt did display his new chest video camera, so I guess we can all sleep well knowing that bit of technology is now in place.

As a note, the firm that produced the engineering study for the trail (handpicked by Panek and Co.) is the same one the town used to design our magnificent series of Finger Lakes (Lake Cape Charles) that surround Central Park. A question still lurking: while the Mayor was handing out all these proclamations, where’s the one for National Ineptitude Day or National Lack of Due Diligence Day? [Read more…]


WAYNE CREED: I Was Wrong about Backyard Chickens

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

March 30, 2015

On Friday, March 20, Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) set up their annual campaign, the 2015 MeatOut, meant to encourage the public to try a vegan diet for one day.  People from 96 countries pledged to “Eat Vegan for a Day.” This simple effort saved 1,343 farmed animals. MeatOut was soon followed by an opinion in the New York Times by Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and the founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. Ornish’s article focused on the questionable notion that “Americans have grown fat because they eat too much starch and sugar, and not enough meat, fat and eggs.”

The implication is that consuming lean meat and animal byproducts (even those labeled organic or grass fed) is somehow “healthy.”  More recent research indicates that animal protein may significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from all causes, among them cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes, and a study published by NIH last March found a 75 percent increase in premature deaths from all causes, and a 400 percent increase in deaths from cancer and Type 2 diabetes, among heavy consumers of animal protein under the age of 65 — those who got 20 percent or more of their calories from animal protein.

According to Ornish, “Low-carb, high-animal-protein diets promote heart disease via mechanisms other than just their effects on cholesterol levels. Arterial blockages may be caused by animal-protein-induced elevations in free fatty acids and insulin levels and decreased production of endothelial progenitor cells (which help keep arteries clean). Egg yolks and red meat appear to significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer due to increased production of trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, a metabolite of meat and egg yolks linked to the clogging of arteries.”

When questioning the ethics of eating and the effect that our food choices can make, it is important to realize that those choices have much broader implications than just weight loss or personal health and well-being — they also play a big role in the health of our environment. By the numbers, one person going vegan for one year would preserve 53,900 square feet of rain forest, and save 1,350,500 gallons of water.

For many folks living on the Eastern Shore or greater Delmarva, the environmental effects of agribusiness have been a concern for some time. A report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides key data points on the adverse environmental aspects of animal farming, such as land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Even as agribusiness (livestock) only accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total GDP, it should still be noted that the sector still plays an important role both socially and politically in not just the poorest developing countries, but also the poorest communities of the United States. [Read more…]


County Should Stop Yanking Town’s Chain

Cape Charles Wave Columnist

March 16, 2015

On January 27, the Town of Cape Charles sent correspondence to County Administrator Katie Nunez voicing displeasure with the Board of Supervisors’ reluctance to bow to the Town’s whims — that is, drop everything it was doing and pick up work on the Cape Charles request to have the County include a Town Entrance Overlay District in proposed zoning changes.

The written response from the County was a bit like a horse swatting away an annoying fly with its tail — a nice way of telling Cape Charles to go pack sand.

While it is true that few citizens of Cape Charles actually take the Mayor, Town Council, or Planning Commission seriously, it is worrisome that this same sentiment has also seeped out into the county.

This sentiment may be marginally understandable, given the petulant and peevish tone of the town; however, the county still has some explaining to do, mainly as to why they have been reluctant to take up the matter in the first place. In the correspondence to Nunez, the town noted that in a previous letter, the Board of Supervisors was unable to deal with the town’s request: “Your letter of June 11, 2014 indicated that the Board of Supervisors was unable to consider our request for the inclusion of the Historic Town Overlay Corridor in the proposed zoning amendments due to current workload . . . .”

Workload? What workload? The county makes it sound like they toil away in a Kentucky coal mine. It seems the county is always able to make time for so many inane and inconsequential endeavors; their response to the town on this very important matter appears to be nothing short of a blow-off.

Mayor George Proto’s statement is a legitimate response. Rather than being treated like a creepy, stalker boyfriend who refuses to take no for an answer, the town at least deserves a straight answer. Proto wrote, “I am aware that the BoS has been diligently working through potential revisions [to the proposed zoning] . . . we would like the BoS to consider our request . . . before completing this review [of proposed zoning changes].” Even as diplomatically as they tried to wordsmith it, the town’s frustration is becoming more apparent. [Read more…]