Boys Will Be Boys (Shriner Race Cars in Clam Slam Parade)


August 3, 2013


‘Freshwater Frank’ Gets Surprise 60th Birthday Party

March 11, 2013

"Freshwater Frank" Russell, Cape Charles' beloved musician, at his surprise birthday party, with Frank Wendell. (Wave photos)

“Freshwater Frank” Russell, Cape Charles’ beloved musician, at his surprise birthday party, with Frank Wendell. (Wave photos)

"Pottsy" and Jenny Potts hosted Frankie's party in their back yard Saturday night.

“Pottsy” and Jenny Potts hosted Frankie’s party in their backyard Saturday night.

[Read more…]


Town Plans Deal with South Port to Protect Inner Harbor

South Port boatel will back to Coast Guard Station.

South Port boatel will back to Coast Guard Station.

Cape Charles Wave

January 21, 2013

Town of Cape Charles staff have devised a plan to work with South Port Investors to install floating wave attenuators to protect the inner portion of the Town Harbor.

The floating plastic devices (see video at end of story) would be purchased in lieu of construction of additional stone breakwaters.

Town Council is holding a special meeting 6 p.m. Thursday, January 24, to approve the deal.

South Port is constructing a boat repair facility with floating docks and a boatel next to the Coast Guard Station, along with work space across the street where the former sewage treatment plant was located.

According to a memo to Town Council by Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek, South Port has “significant concerns” about when and where the Town will construct additional breakwaters to protect the harbor.

The Harbor Redevelopment Plan calls for five offshore breakwaters, two of which have been built.

Building three more breakwaters is estimated to cost at least $2 million, of which the Town has received approval for a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

Panek wrote that “the Town’s priority is the next breakwater to the south to protect the floating docks from southwesterly seas.” South Port’s priority, on the other hand, “is the next breakwater to the north for protection of their assets from northwesterly seas.”

According to Panek, however, South Port believes that the inner harbor could be better protected by installing floating wave attenuators on both north and south sides of the harbor, instead of breakwaters. [Read more…]


Service Honors Cape Charles’ Only Fallen Police Officer

At Wednesday’s dedication to 1918 Cape Charles fallen police officer, Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Norfolk Police Department present colors. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

October 11, 2012

Almost a century ago a Cape Charles police officer was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a double shooting suspect. Yesterday, Sgt. James A. Taylor was honored with a ceremony in Central Park and a memorial stone.

“Sgt. Taylor paid the ultimate price by giving his life in the line of duty 95 years ago,” Cape Charles Police Chief Charles “Sambo” Brown told townspeople and area law enforcement officers assembled in the park. “We have left room on the monument for other names,” Brown said, “but I pray that we will add no more names.”

A group of Sgt. Taylor’s descendants came to Cape Charles to attend the ceremony.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Norfolk Police Department provided a color guard, and Pastor Russell Goodrich of First Baptist Church offered a prayer and scripture reading.

Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Thomas sang “You Raise Me Up.”

Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan read a letter from Gov. Robert McDonnell honoring Taylor’s service and sacrifice. McDonnell also expressed appreciation for Cape Charles Police Officer Jim Pruitt and his colleagues for organizing the dedication service. (Read letter here.)

Vice Mayor Chris Bannon read two poems, “The Final Inspection,” and A Hero Is.”

Members of Montgomery County Police Pipes and Drums played “Amazing Grace.”

Perhaps the most poignant moment was the “Final Radio Call,” with Chief Brown holding his walkie-talkie to the microphone as the Town Police dispatcher repeatedly called for Sgt. James Taylor to respond.

There was no answer. [Read more…]


Super Successful Clam Slam Festival Ends with a Bang

Cape Charles Wave

August 6, 2012

Cape Charles Harbor Master Smitty Dize was tired but happy Sunday evening as he counted up ticket proceeds for the just-completed Boat Docking Contest — the grand finale of a very successful weekend comprising the Town’s first Clam Slam Festival.

Some 800 tickets were sold for Sunday’s boat docking competition which drew watermen and their friends and families from up and down the Shore. Nine boats competed this year — a 50 percent increase over last year. Proceeds go to pay the cash prizes, plus $300 to each boat to help cover fuel costs.

It was the success of the first boat docking contest last year that inspired Dize to expand Harbor events to fill a full weekend, including a Shriners Parade, marching band, and car show on Saturday.

Boat dock competitions are wildly popular on the Shore, with Crisfield, Maryland, having one of the largest. But Dize was happy with the Cape Charles crowd and nine boats — big enough to give a good show, but not so large as to drag on interminably on a hot afternoon.

Three local boats competed: Jay B, Three Brothers, and The Pound Netter.

Master of Ceremonies was the popular Erik “Flea” Emily.

Watch the 5-minute Wave video above, and then read more to see the list of winners.

[Read more…]

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Clam Slam to Show Harbor No Longer ‘Across the Tracks’

Cape Charles Harbormaster Smitty Dize with a racing “cork” and one of the competition boats, the Jay B. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

July 30, 2012

Spin a workboat from one dock to another, attach four lines to four posts bow and aft, and do it in about 30 seconds — that’s the essence of a boat docking contest. Next weekend in the Cape Charles harbor, watermen from Virginia and Maryland will compete to see who is the fastest.

“They risk tearing their boats up,” said Harbormaster Smitty Dize, who organized the event. “Most of them get dinged up. Last year, one guy knocked a part of his guard off, but that’s to be expected. It can be a very expensive thing if you tear up the hydraulic line.”

The boat docking contest is one of many events planned for the Inaugural Cape Charles Clam Slam, a town-wide festival August 3-5. Participants will enjoy three live bands, trash to treasures and yard sales, vendors, a Shriners Parade and car show, skiff and cork races, and clams, clams, clams.

“We’re not doing these events to make a profit,” said Dize. “We’re hoping to offset the costs of other town events, like the 4th of July fireworks.”

Last year, the town hosted its first docking race. Six boats competed before a crowd of about 1,200. Dize expects 9 or 10 boats in three divisions this year, and double the attendance. The Clam Slam Facebook page is getting lots of traffic, he said. And a yacht club that had one member attend last year is bringing 30 boats next weekend.

“A lot of vacationers are here this year because we exposed the town last year,” said Dize.

Cape Charles got a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to market the harbor. The grant paid for ads in boating magazines like Proptalk and Spinsheet, plus rack cards and other marketing tools. Massive harbor improvements have prompted some to consider it the new center of town.

“No, we’re not the center of town,” said Dize. “But we’re actually attached to the town now. The harbor used to be on the other side of the railroad tracks.” [Read more…]

Town Turns Out in Support of Old School Cape Charles

Several hundred folks came out on a rainy Saturday night to enjoy local musicians, steamed crabs and clams, and support Old School Cape Charles.

Cape Charles Wave

July 22, 2012

Outside was wet and cool, but inside Wendell Distributors on Madison Avenue last night, the crabs were hot and the crowd was happy.

The occasion was a fundraiser to support Old School Cape Charles — the local group that has sued the Town over its pending sale for $10 of the old school, basketball court, and playground parking lot at Central Park.

A private developer intends to convert the school into an apartment building, but Old School Cape Charles is trying to block that with legal action. The group instead wants to turn the old school into a community center.

Several hundred folks paid $20 each for a night of local music, dancing, steamed crabs, clams, and corn, baked beans and more.

Freshwater Frank (Frankie Russell) and the Fish warmed up the crowd, followed by Heather & Nathan, Melinda & the Benders, and The Wrecking Ball.

Normally staid Cape Charles very nearly faced two competing festivals at the same time. Last week’s Applaud the Sun street party was rescheduled, due to weather, for the same time as the Old School Crab Feast. But Chamber of Commerce officials yesterday postponed the street party once again due to rain.

“Everybody’s here,” enthused one attendee — “except I don’t see a single member of Town Council.” But at least one Council member was certainly there: Frank Wendell, who provided his company’s warehouse for the occasion. Too bad about the others, because Council members are known to enjoy a good party.

And last night was a good example of how a community can enjoy a rainy Saturday night  — if it has a community center.

Want to relive the party? Watch the 10-minute video below, featuring Heather and Nathan’s knockout rendition of Mustang Sally/Proud Mary.


WAVY-TV News Report on Old School Controversy

Old school building sold for $10:

To watch the WAVY news report, click “Read more” to enter full story; then click the PLAY button.


July 18, 2012

The WAVY Channel 10 news crew ventured across the bridge today to film a story about the controversy surrounding the Town of Cape Charles decision to sell the old school, basketball court, and parking lot adjoining Central Park to a private developer for $10.

The developer intends to convert the school into a 17-unit apartment building.

WAVY-10 interviewed Town Manager Heather Arcos as well as the president of Old School Cape Charles LLC, Wayne Creed. Old School Cape Charles is a legal entity formed by residents intent on saving the school for public use as a community center.

Cape Charles Mayor Dora Sullivan declined to be interviewed on camera.

The story aired during the 6 p.m. news on Wednesday on both WAVY-10 and FOX-43.

To watch the WAVY news report, click “Read more” to enter full story; then click the PLAY button.