#2 Story
NJ Entrepreneur Buys AQUA, Marina, for $4.6 Million

Click the PLAY button above to watch the auction. Buyer Robert Occhifinto is on right. (WAVE video)

Cape Charles Wave

December 29, 2012

Five bidders signed up for the trustees’ auction yesterday in front of the Northampton County Courthouse, where AQUA restaurant, Bay Creek Marina, adjoining shops, and Marina Village rental units were on the block.

But when bidding began at $3.3 million,  the amount due on the bank note, the players quickly dropped to two: Eastville attorney Bert Turner, and New Jersey entrepreneur Robert Occhifinto.

Turner presumably was representing a client, while Occhifinto was bidding for himself.

The two began by raising each other’s bid by the minimum allowed — $10,000. Occhifinto soon tired of that game and bid a full $3.6 million.

Turner followed suit at $3.7 million.

And so it went for the next minute or so, until Turner bid $4.5 million. Occhifinto immediately came back with $4.6, and Turner was silent. That was his limit.

And so a new major investor has appeared on the lower Eastern Shore. Robert Occhifinto has actually been around for a while, but until 11:30 a.m. yesterday, few realized the extent of his interest or the depth of his pockets. [Read more…]


Shine and Rise Farm Gets PBS Attention for Innovation

Click above, then click again on the next image, and then fast-forward the media bar to 13:00 to watch the 7-minute video of Jay Ford and his Shine and Rise Farm.

Click above, click again, and then fast-forward the media bar to 13:00 to watch the 7-minute video of Jay Ford and his Shine and Rise Farm as featured on the PBS show “Virginia Currents.”

May 18, 2015

Shine and Rise Farm in Painter has been featured on the PBS show Virginia Currents for its innovative approach to agriculture. The program features the sustainable ways that fruits, vegetables, and animals are raised on the food forest farm.

Co-owners Tatum Sumners Ford and Jay Ford started Shine and Rise three years ago and since that time have planted over 10,000 perennial food plants in a ‘Food Forest’ a agricultural system that models the forest edge.

“When we started Shine and Rise we asked ourselves: what would farms look like if we designed them to focus on improving the well-being of our planet and the well-being of the people in our community? the Fords said. “That question keeps us innovating every day, experimenting with new ways to grow nutritionally dense, delicious foods for healthy people and a healthy planet. We are thrilled to share our work with the viewers of PBS so that they might consider planting their own little food forests as well. Just think what would happen if everyone planted a fruit tree — what a beautiful way to change the world.” [Read more…]

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VIDEO: WAVY-10 Covers Rally Against Rezoning

December 10, 2014

Last night’s anti-rezoning rally outside the old Eastville courthouse is getting major news coverage. WAVY-10 was there and broadcast the feature below (click arrow to view) at 11 p.m. last night and again today. Shore Radio also has a report (CLICK to read). Ron West from the Eastern Shore Post was there, as well as  Eastern Shore News photographer Jay Diem — not to mention the Cape Charles Wave, which emerged from semi-hibernation to cover the event.

Forum on County Rezoning Draws Full House

Audience member Katherine Campbell spoke in favor of proposed zoning changes. (Wave photos)

Audience member Katherine Campbell spoke in favor of proposed zoning changes. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

November 10, 2014

Speakers at a community forum on the Northampton County Zoning Ordinance last Thursday called for the Board of Supervisors to withdraw the proposed ordinance changes being considered.

Some 140 residents braved the rainy evening to  attend the forum in the Eastville Fire Station Bingo Hall sponsored by Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper and Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore. County Supervisors Granville Hogg and Rick Hubbard were among them. When asked when the supervisors might vote on the proposed changes Hogg answered, “I don’t know.”

Audience sentiment clearly supported withdrawing the proposed zoning changes. But one attendee, Katherine Campbell, bravely asked to speak in favor of the changes and was given three minutes. She said her concern was that the county needed economic development and that the zoning changes would lead to a more prosperous county. In response, panelist Roberta Kellam noted that everyone is interested in a more prosperous county. Kellam questioned how the zoning ordinance’s proposed ban on single-wide mobile homes could benefit low-income residents. “Will developers build affordable homes or waterfront homes?” Kellam asked. [Read more…]


VIDEO: Street Music from Elvis and Tony

Elvis Lives!

Jim Smith returned to Cape Charles Saturday, August 9, for his fourth local appearance as Elvis — this time street-side. Watch “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.”

Old Man and the Fountain

Meanwhile, up Mason Avenue, Tony Sacco performed old favorites outside the Stage Door Gallery. Watch “Summertime.”

VIDEO: 2014 February Freeze at Cape Charles Beach


February 10, 2014

A bumper crop of cold-water crazies turned out for Saturday’s 2014 Habitat for Humanity February Freeze at the Cape Charles Beach. Watch the video to see who gets the wettest, and keep a sharp eye out for Kiptopeke Elementary Principal Subrina Parker. As always, swim instructor/polar bear Victor Abrahamian spent the longest time in the water (and actually “swam” a few strokes at the finish). Click bottom right of box for full-screen view (but don’t get wet!).


SATURDAY 2/15: ‘Perception’ at Palace Theatre: You Can’t Always Believe in Happy Ever After

February 10, 2014

An Atlanta performing arts production company will present “Perception,” an original play 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at the Palace Theatre. Tickets are $12.

Perception is the love story of Hamilton and Margaret, a newlywed couple who fall deeply in love and share that love with the baby of their dreams. Their dream is shattered when Margaret awakes one morning to find their baby not breathing and herself on the verge of insanity. Hamilton soon finds himself struggling with the desire to want to move on with their lives but has to figure out a way to deal with his wife’s instability which leaves him at a crossroads. In addition to dealing with his wife’s instability, he now has to deal with a mother-in-law who is willing to do anything to keep her daughter’s marriage together and a best friend who isn’t forthcoming about the troubles of his own marriage. The story of Perception leads one on a dangerous ride that involves love, lust, and betrayal. Are you ready to have your Perception of Love changed?

EXTRA! Gov. McAuliffe Visits Bayshore, Brings Check

Gov. Terry McAuliffe presents check to Northampton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Larry LeMond and Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan. The grant money goes to Bayshore Concrete Products in return for creating 135 jobs. (Wave photos)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe presents check to Northampton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Larry LeMond and Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan. The grant money goes to Bayshore Concrete Products in return for creating 135 jobs. (Wave photos)

Cape Charles Wave

February 5, 2014

Newly elected Governor Terry McAuliffe came to town yesterday bearing a gift — a $150,000 grant for Bayshore Concrete Products in return for creating 135 jobs. The expansion at Bayshore comes after a debilitating dry spell: Bayshore General Manager Chad Saunders noted that in 2012, production was down by half. And in 2013 things got even worse: Bayshore poured only 20 percent of its normal amount of concrete.

All that is changing now that Bayshore has won some big contracts: Great Egg Harbor Bridge in New Jersey, the Bayonne Bridge between Bayonne, NJ, and Staten Island, NY, and most recently for New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge. In order to ship larger concrete products out of Cape Charles, Bayshore is spending $4 million on harbor infrastructure.

Northampton Economic Development Director Charles McSwain said that for Bayshore to qualify for the state grant money, both Northampton County and the Town of Cape Charles had to “partner” in the endeavor by providing their own tax incentives to Bayshore. The county and the town will “forgive” Bayshore the increased property taxes for 10 years that it otherwise would pay on up to $1.8 million of  infrastructure improvements. Based on current tax rates, that translates to $12,000 county annual tax relief and $5,000 for the town, for a total over 10 years of $170,000.

In December the Town of Cape Charles also awarded Bayshore Concrete a “stimulus grant” that will refund to the company the increased machinery and tools tax it otherwise would pay on its infrastructure improvements. Town Manager Heather Arcos told the Wave she estimates the value to Bayshore in town tax credits at roughly $10,000 a year for five years. The total tax relief package for Bayshore from the town and the county equals about $220,000.

“Things are looking up,”  said County Chairman Larry LeMond, “after a difficult last five years.” As Vice President of Bay Coast Railroad, LeMond has every reason to be pleased:  Bay Coast Railroad is largely dependent on business from Bayshore, as the cement to cast concrete products arrives on Bay Coast rail cars.

The arrival of the governor shut down Bayshore operations for a couple of hours as every employee gathered at a tent set up for the ceremony. When McAuliffe spoke the magic word “jobs,” the employees clapped and cheered.

Bayshore Concrete employees applaud announcement of 135 new jobs.

Bayshore Concrete employees assembled to hear the Governor (at left). More will join them this year.

[Read more…]