Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Press Releases from York County


York County wins eight NACO Achievement Awards
July 26, 2010
As part the ongoing effort to provide low cost, high quality services to its citizens, York County routinely encourages employees to think creatively and develop programs that will enable the county to work more efficiently and effectively.
This year, the county is pleased to have been recognized for those efforts with an outstanding eight Achievement Awards granted by the National Association of Counties for various county programs and initiatives.
"It is quite an honor to be recognized on the national level for programs that county staff has created and implemented," said County Administrator James O. McReynolds. "County employees work very hard to serve the citizens of York, and these awards are recognition of a job well done."
The following are programs that won Achievement Awards this year, and the names of county staff accepting those awards and congratulations from Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Wiggins. For more information on these award winning programs, please contact the Public Information Office at 890-3300.
Science Field Trip Productions
During these tough economic times, budget cuts in schools have virtually eliminated science-based field trips, a once-beloved tradition in our elementary schools. By partnering with other departments and experts from the local community, reusing supplies and relying on grants and volunteer hours, the Virginia Cooperative Extension – York County created a science field trip program to fill that void at a surprisingly low cost. Additionally, the field trips serve to get students outdoors and involved in hands-on activities while also fulfilling science requirements. Over 200 5th grade students have participated in these field trips so far.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized York Master Gardeners Barb Dunbar and Teresa Bennett, York Extension Agent Dan Nortman.
Wetlands Interpretive Sanctuary for Education (WISE)
Faced with the problems of replacing wetlands that were lost in the construction of the Tabb Library and a drainage issue in the Lackey area of the county, staff members found they could solve both issues at once by creating a wetlands area. Additionally, staff realized the area could be created to serve as a learning area for citizens to become involved in and educated about water quality issues and environmental preservation. The result was the creation of the Wetlands Interpretive Sanctuary for Education at Charles Brown Park in Lackey. The sanctuary consists of a new wetlands area, a ½ mile trail, a stream channel with stabilized banks and improved downstream drainage for the local residential neighborhood.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Special Programs Manager Ken Drees, Environmental Programs Manager Anna Drake and Recreation Supervisor Rick Smethurst.
Bats, Balls, and a BMP: An Intergovernmental Project Produces Regional Benefits
As York County began the process to develop its 13-field Sports Complex, officials invited Newport News Waterworks (NNWW) – the regional water supplier – to become part of the development planning, because of NNWW's sizable land holdings and proximity to the land being eyed for the new complex. As planning progressed, it became clear that both entities could partner in the construction of a regional BMP to treat stormwater runoff from a 60-acre watershed in York County. Because of the proposed BMP site's close proximity to the complex, adding it as part of the project would save money as opposed to constructing it as a stand alone project at a later date. Now that it has been constructed, previously uncontrolled and untreated runoff from the 60-acre watershed area is now being controlled and treated before entering the nearby reservoir.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Recreation Supervisor Brian Fuller and Community Services Director Anne Smith
AED Locator
Now that Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been placed in strategic locations, public buildings, and parks throughout York County and the cities of Poquoson and Williamsburg, the county's Computer Aided Dispatch Administrator has designed mapping programs with the ability to alert 911 dispatchers to the locations of these AEDs. With this software, 911 dispatchers can direct emergency callers to the location of the closest AED so that life saving efforts can start immediately, before emergency responders are on-scene.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Emergency Communications Training Coordinator Jane Jackson.
Birds, Bees and Building Sustainability
Two years ago, as part of its "Go Green" initiative, York County began converting large areas of lawn in parks and along highways into low-maintenance wildflower management areas and bird sanctuaries. Many of these areas are located along the local waterways throughout the county and are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This program, which relied heavily on partnerships with local citizen groups and organizations, has created biodiversity, aided in stormwater management, and preserved water resources. Also, these efforts will save the county money on future maintenance costs, beautify our highways and byways, and provide citizens with areas for outdoor recreation.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Landscape Superintendent Joanne Chapman.
EMS Mobile Training Trailers
The department of Fire and Life Safety developed two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Mobile Training trailers that allow training equipment to be moved to multiple locations for EMS skills training. Making the training materials portable allows personnel to receive necessary training at their assigned fire station, thus allowing them to remain on-duty and available to respond to emergency calls.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Safe Work Area Ambulance Design
Seeking to ensure the safety of care providers in the patient care area of ambulances, the department of Fire and Life Safety developed a design concept that would improve safety for EMS personnel while allowing them the same access to the patient and all necessary supplies. These newly designed ambulances have already been displayed at several emergency medical services conferences.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Mass Casualty/Evacuation Transport Unit
In coordination with the York County School Division, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and other Hampton Roads localities, the Department of Fire and Life Safety has helped develop a means of transporting large numbers of mild to moderately injured patients during emergency events. Using grant money, the county recently converted a donated school bus into one of these Mass Casualty/Evacuation Transport Units. The refurbished bus was redesigned and outfitted to transport patients during mass casualty incidents or during situations where large numbers of non-ambulatory patients need to be evacuated (e.g. severe weather, terrorist incidents, or other catastrophic events).
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Williamsburg Bird Club presents certificate of appreciation to NQP
July 27, 2010
Members of the Williamsburg Bird Club presented a certificate of appreciation to New Quarter Park staff on Saturday, July 24, to recognize them for all that they and York County Parks and Recreation have done to preserve and restore wildlife habitat and support the Williamsburg Bird Club's twice-a-month bird walks.
In addition to the Bird Walks, New Quarter Park has partnered with several local environmental stewardship groups including the Williamsburg Bird Club, Historic Rivers Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist, John Clayton Chapter of Virginia Native Plant Society, and Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District to restore a portion of the park to attract Northern Bobwhite, whose population have dramatically declined in Virginia.
The Master Naturalists are also developing a Teaching Garden to help visitors better appreciate the diversity of plants there. The park has also partnered with Chesapeake Bay VoiCeS volunteers who raise oysters in Queens Creek for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Oyster Habitat Restoration Program.
For more information, contact Parks and Recreation at 890-3500.
# # #



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Friday, July 23, 2010

New Press Releases from York County


Learn about butterflies with Barb Dunbar at New Quarter Park
July 23, 2010
 Enjoy the beauty of butterflies on a Walk and Talk to be led by Barb Dunbar, York County Master Gardener, Virginia Master Naturalist, and York County Junior Master Gardener leader, on Saturday, Aug. 7 at New Quarter Park from 10 a.m. until noon.
New Quarter Park is full of butterflies in the summer since so many of the native plants that host and feed them are growing in the forest and meadows there. Butterflies need a combination of plants that host their caterpillars and are available to provide nectar to feed adult butterflies. For example, the Zebra Swallowtail caterpillar is hosted by the Pawpaw flowers in New Quarter and the adult butterflies feed on the nectar of Dogbane, Joe Pye Weed, Buddleia, Blueberry, and Privet. The Spicebush Swallowtail needs Spicebush or Sassafras to host its caterpillars and Dogbane, Joe Pye Weed, and Buddleia to feed the adult butterflies. Most butterflies enjoy nectar from plants in the Milkweed family.
Dunbar, who has lead many butterfly walks and helped establish schoolyard gardens to attract butterflies, will visit areas of the park where native plants are blooming and inviting butterflies. She will talk about butterflies that are common in this area and provide ideas to help participants establish their own butterfly gardens. Like bees, butterflies play an important role in the natural cycle by pollinating flowers and crops.
For more information, call Parks & Recreation at 890-3350.
Senior Center Announces August Programs
A variety of educational and entertaining programs are being offered at the Senior Center of York in August.
Participation is open to seniors age 55 or better and their spouses, regardless of age. The center is located in the Washington Square Shopping Center at 5314 George Washington Memorial Highway (Rt. 17), and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center is closed all county holidays. 
Reservations are required for all sessions and are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, stop by the center or call 898-3807. For more information, please visit www.yorkcounty.gov/communityservices.
Lessons in Calligraphy, Mondays, Aug. 9, 16 and 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. Rebecca Edwards, Art Instructor, will teach the basic principles of calligraphy. This class meets on three separate dates for two hours each. Participants will learn a unique style of handwriting to create greeting cards, wedding or party invitations and more. This course also helps to improve current handwriting skills and provides the opportunity to express yourself through this ancient technique. Samples of writings will be on display at the front desk. Please register by Aug. 6. The cost for the class is $15 and includes all supplies. There are minimum and maximum space requirements for this class. For more information call 898-3807.
"Don't Let Osteoarthritis of the Knee Become a Pain," Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 12:45 p.m. This informative program is offered by Orthopedic Specialist Dr. David Muron, and will provide information on ways to effectively manage osteoarthritis knee pain, the benefits of non-oral or pill-free treatments, and the available treatment options. This program is being sponsored in part by The Senior Network, a communications organization dedicated to the development and distribution of information and educational materials to mature adults. To register call the Senior Center at 898-3807 by Aug. 10.
August Birthday Bash, Friday, Aug. 13 at 1 p.m. Share in the memories of happy days with Entertainer Wayne King. Mr. King will perform a variety of classical oldies music from Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, and Ray Charles. We will also celebrate August birthdays at this bash, but remember you do not have to be celebrating a birthday to attend. Cake and beverages will be served. Please register by calling the center at 898-3807 by Aug. 12.
Culture Day, "Beads from A to Z," Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Back by request, Anne Cipriano will discuss the materials such as glass, plastics, and woods, and much more that are used to make beads from all different parts of the world. Participants are encouraged to bring in beads that they have to be identified as well. Call the Senior Center of York at 898-3807 for more information and to register by Aug. 17.
Senior Advisory Council Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Rob Wittman, Thursday, Aug. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Senior Center of York. The purpose of Representative Rob Wittman's First District Seniors Town Hall Meeting is to provide constituents with a discussion forum on issues of concern to the senior community. Topics include healthcare issues, Medicare and Social Security, and other areas such as long term care, consumer and employment situations. Lisa Walker, Vice President of Aging and Disability Resources, will answer questions concerning Medicare and Medicaid. Please call 898-3807 to register for this program.
"Let's Go to the Movies," Friday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. The York County Library and the Senior Center of York will present the hilariously funny 1991 movie, "What About Bob" (Rated PG). Starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, this comedy film explores an unusual doctor-patient relationship that is pushed way beyond the office when the multi-phobic patient Bob Wiley (played by Murray) follows his egotistical psychologist Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Dreyfuss) on his family vacation.
AARP Driver Safety Program, Aug. 23 & Aug. 24. This program is designed for drivers age 50 or better, and will take place on Monday, Aug. 23 from 12:45 – 4:45 p.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. The cost for this program is now $12 for members of AARP and $14 for non-members.Fees should be paid by check and made out to AARP. Class registration may be made in person at the Senior Center, by phone, or by mail. Note: AARP membership, which cannot be processed the day of a class, is not required for class registration. There is no "behind the wheel" driving performed in this program. Drivers age 55 or better must attend both classes to receive the state mandated three-year automobile insurance reduction. Many insurance companies are giving insurance reductions to drivers age 50+ with the same attendance requirements. Those less than age 55 should check with their insurance company to see if they are entitled to the three-year insurance reduction. Class enrollment is limited to 25.
"Financial Exploitation of the Elderly," Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 12:45 p.m.Elder abuse is increasingly viewed as the least recognized, least understood, and least addressed area of family violence in our society. It is often perpetrated by family members and caregivers and estimates indicate that for each case that is reported, there are four or more cases that go unreported. Gerontologist Linda Trimmer, who specializes in financial elder abuse, will discuss common characteristics of victims of fraud and exploitation. She will also address the various types of financial abuse and provide tips on how to recognize when you or someone you know is being financially abused. To register, please call the Senior Center at 898-3807 by Aug. 24.
Free Summer Tai Chi Classes. Tai Chi Instructor Bill Hansell will teach some basic movements, balance exercises, and meditation techniques of this ancient Chinese art form in a freesix-week session of Tai Chi. This class will runthrough Aug. 26and meetThursdays from 10 to 11 a.m. For more information and to register for this class please call 898-3807.
"Fan Care" Project Helps Seniors. Summer heat and humidity can be physically stressful and dangerous to the elderly. Income eligible seniors may receive one free fan, provided they are over the age of 60, live within the Dominion Virginia Power service area and have a need for cooling assistance. Air conditioners may be available for seniors with more serious health problems. "Fan Care" is a private-public partnership administered by the Department for the Aging and primarily sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power. For more information contact the Peninsula Agency on Aging at 873-0541.
Computer General Use. The computers are available for general use Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. unless the lab is reserved for programmed activities. To use the computers you must sign in at the Senior Center front desk. 
Craft Activities. Why not take advantage of some of the ongoing craft activities taking place at the center every month? For more details, please call the center at 898-3807. The following is our current schedule of activities:
* Knitting and Crochet Class: Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m.
* Art Classes: Instructors Myrna Graham and Hazel Camp offer free art
classes during the week, with their Intermediate/Advanced Class meeting on
Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Note: The summer schedule may vary, so call
the center to check on current times.
* Quilters: Meet on Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m.
NOTE: The Dining Club will be closed Aug. 30 through Sept. 3.
"Chronic Disease Self Management Program," Tuesdays, Sept. 21 through Nov. 2 from 9:30 am to noon. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program was devised through research performed by the School of Medicine at Stanford University and is being offered at no cost to participants at the Senior Center of York. This program has proven to be effective, and is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease specific education for persons with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and depression. Subjects covered will include:  1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; 2) appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; 3) appropriate use of medications; 4) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals; 5) nutrition and, 6) how to evaluate new treatments. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. A copy of the book "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, 3rd Edition"will be provided for the workshop. Participants will have the option of purchasing a copy for their personal use.  
This workshop is co-sponsored by the Peninsula Agency on Aging. Space is limited and registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. No class will take place on Oct. 19. Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to register, call the Senior Center at 898-3807.
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Fwd: Last Evenings Tuscany Forum

From: The Tuscany Forum <thetuscanyforum@cox.net>
Date: Jul 23, 2010 10:41 AM
Subject: Last Evenings Tuscany Forum

Thanks to all who attended last evenings Forum!!  Much discussion and many excellent initiatives and issues were voiced by the citizens of York County. The Forum Core Team will now be busy over the next several weeks prioritizing and developing the fall Forum agenda.  

Our guest, Delegate Brenda Pogge, presented a spirited and informative update on state and federal successes, but with many remaining challenges.  Delegate Pogge considers herself, a representative of the people, not a politician.  She further indicated her representation of the people is framed by her values as a Christian, a Conservative, and upon the U.S. Constitution.  Thanks Delegate Pogge!

A invitation was given by Mr. Wade McRoberts, the York County Republican Committee (YCRC) Chair, to any citizen who is not a member of the YCRC to join.  The next Committee meeting is Thursday, September 2nd, 7:00pm, at York Hall in historic Yorktown.  Mr. McRoberts can be contacted via email at "mcroberts.ycrc@verizon.net".

The August Forum date is not yet certain, as we are working with the schedule of our guest speaker, Representative Rob Wittman.  The date and agenda will be forwarded when these details are known.

The Tuscany Forum Core Team

Alexander of York

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fwd: York County District 5: Fire on Carys Chapel Road

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Thomas Shepperd <tgshep@cox.net>
Date: Jul 22, 2010 11:23 AM
Subject: York County District 5:  Fire on Carys Chapel Road
To: Thomas Shepperd <tgshep@cox.net>

Dear Neighbors,


We had a tragic house fire this morning on Carys Chapel Road.  Here is a preliminary report from the fire department:


This morning, shortly after 2:30, Fire and Life Safety responded to a house fire in the 1000 block of Carys Chapel Road in Tabb. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions at the residence. They were able to account for one of two reported occupants of the residence.  During search and rescue operations crew found the second occupant. The resident was removed and transported to the hospital and subsequently passed away. Four firefighters were overcome by heat while conducting operations and were transported to local hospitals. All of our firefighters have been treated and released and are recovering this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time. The family members of the deceased have been notified and they are notifying extended family. Fire and Life Safety is providing assistance to the family of the deceased as well as to our firefighter's families as appropriate.





Tom Shepperd

District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591, Office (757) 225-2108

Fax (757) 890-4082



Alexander of York

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fwd: VA-ALERT: Victory in York County!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Philip Van Cleave <philip@virginiasystems.com>
Date: Jul 21, 2010 12:34 PM
Subject: VA-ALERT: Victory in York County!
VCDL's meeting schedule:  http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:  http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html

Last night the York County Board of Supervisors voted to repeal their discharge bans and let state law rule!

The only fly in the ointment was that they did decide to keep a ban on discharging rifles that are greater than .22 caliber.

The York County Sheriff, Danny Diggs, did a fantastic job in standing up for gun owners in front of the Board of Supervisors and deserves the lion's share of credit for this victory.

Around 30 gun owners showed up and around 4 antis.  Significantly, no one from a Home Owners Association was there.

The vote was broken into two parts:  repealing the ban on discharge of rifles that are greater than .22 caliber and repealing all other discharge bans, including discharging a gun in and around a subdivision (state law would prevail and there would be no issue if such discharge was done safely).

Here is my impression of the Board members in this matter:

Walter Zaremba - voted wrong both times and fell flat when he tried to use logic to lay down the groundwork for his anti-gun vote

Sheila Noll - knew she couldn't stop the .22 caliber rifle restriction from being lifted if it was voted on in conjunction with lifting the other restrictions, so she pushed for the TWO votes .  As gun owners talked, she bobbed her head up and down like she understood what they were saying, but at the end of the day she voted wrong on both items.  I am now thinking she was just working a kink out in her neck

Donald Wiggins (chairman) - voted correctly on both items.  Some of his comments originally made me uncomfortable as to how he was going to vote, but he came through in the end.  He also voted to NOT have a separate vote on the .22 caliber rifle limitation

George Hrichak - the quietest one on the Board, but the one who really understands freedom.  He pushed to not have a separate vote on the .22 caliber rifle limitation, too

Thomas Sheppard Jr - I thought he might support both repeals, but in the end voted wrong on the .22 caliber rifle limitation.  He pushed with Ms. Noll to have the two votes, instead of just one.

What was really frustrating is that NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN CHARGED with violating the .22 caliber rifle restriction, but three of the five board members voted to keep it any how.  The three votes to keep that restriction were politics at its worst:  keeping up an illusion that they were still doing "something" to "protect" their constituents, while actually oppressing those who are law abiding.

Anyway, this was still an important victory for York County - we can come back to get rid of that .22 caliber rifle restriction later.

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]
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Alexander of York

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fwd: I hope to see you tomorrow night

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ggdirect@aol.com <Ggdirect@aol.com>
Date: Jul 19, 2010 8:54 AM
Subject: I hope to see you tomorrow night
To: ggdirect@aol.com

Turning the tide in York Co will mean we all have to sacrifice.... l hope you will make the meeting, even if this is not a burning issue for you personally.

Sent: 7/12/2010 7:00:21 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: FW: #1 VERY important York Co BoS meeting next Tuesday night.. please attend !!!

Dear York County Conservative,


This Tuesday night(July 20th) at 7:00 pm the York County Bd of Supervisors will debate and hopefully vote on a monumental issue that, if passed, will be a milestone in turning the tide in York County back to it's conservative roots.....for far too long, our local elected officials have passed more and more laws that have intruded into our private lives & our private properties, while taking our rights away. Over the past 10-15 years most of us, including me, have sat back and not really been paying attention to this erosion of our basic freedoms.

Now is the time to act ......

Please come and hear the debate on the York County Firearms Ordinance, speak in favor of the repeal, or just be a visible sign of support on this precedent setting issue.


BELOW you will see the details of this meeting, and if you open the attachment you will see a letter from Sheriff Danny Diggs explaining why this Ordinance should be repealed.

I'll look forward to seeing you at the meeting !!

Greg Garrett



























































Regular Meeting

July 20, 2010


Board Room

York Hall

6:00 p.m.




    7:00 p.m.     PUBLIC HEARINGS.  



2      Repeal of York County Firearms Ordinance. Consider adoption of proposed Ordinance No. 10-13 to repeal Section 16-7, Discharging Firearms within Certain Areas Prohibited, and Section 16-37, Discharge of High Powered Rifles Prohibited, of the York County Code.



Alexander of York

Fwd: York County District 5 Report July - August 2010

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Thomas Shepperd <tgshep@cox.net>
Date: Jul 19, 2010 8:36 AM
Subject: York County District 5 Report July - August 2010
To: Thomas Shepperd <tgshep@cox.net>

Dear Neighbors,


The District 5 Report for July - August 2010 is provided with the intent of keeping you informed about local and state government actions that could impact our homes and communities.  The Report is produced about every two months and distributed to residents on the York County District 5 Report email list.  I will gladly add you to the distribution list upon request to tgshep@cox.net or shepperd@yorkcounty.gov.  Please include your name and address in the request.  All information is kept confidential.  Residents and homeowner associations are encouraged to share the information with others within their communities.  Comments and questions are always welcome.  You can reach me at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below my name.  I greatly appreciate your help in disseminating the report to other residents of our communities.




Tom Shepperd

District 5 Representative

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591, Office (757) 225-2108

Fax (757) 890-4082




------District 5 Report August 2010*------


1.  Crime Watch – District 5 has been relatively quiet except for the brush fires in Running Man.  In early July, several brush fires were reported near the power lines in Running Man.  It took over four days with fire fighter help from Newport News and as far north as the Naval Weapons Station to finally extinguish all fires, which appear to jump locations.  We were fortunate in that only 30-acres were burned.  Thank heavens for light winds!  Continuing dry conditions make fires particularly dangerous for all homes bordering the wooded area between Victory Boulevard and Running Man Trail.   I encourage residents along the wooded area to remove all dried plant material away your home until we receive a substantial amount of rain.

             For everyone, several young people were observed in the power line area before the fires and, in talking to a previous resident of the Lotz Acres neighborhood, children have been caught setting fires in the wooded area in prior years.  Do not hesitate to dial 911 to report suspicious behavior or a fire.


2.   York County Ratings – If you want to know why people want to live in York County, just consider the following:


            a.  On June 15, the Daily Press reported that in Newsweek's "America's Best High Schools" in which 27,000 high schools were ranked based on "how hard schools work to challenge students with Advanced Placement level courses and tests," York County high schools ranked as follows:  York HS – 270; Bruton HS – 491; Tabb HS – 651; Grafton HS – 877.   Awesome!  The complete list of the top 1600 schools can be viewed at www.dailypress.com/highschools.


            b.  Rankings on the health of all U.S counties was released in February 17, 2010 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute.  Out of 132 cities and counties in Virginia, York County ranked 5th overall.   You can see a complete list of the rankings and health factors by visiting  www.countyhealthrankings.org.


3. Development News – Several residents have asked me about the land clearing that is taking place on the left side of Victory Boulevard as you enter the City of Poquoson.   There are three projects underway along Victory Boulevard.  One is the Moore Creek Phase 2B, which runs from near Fire Station 2 to the corner of Calthrop Neck Road.  Another project is the HRSD capacity upgrade, which includes all the large steel pipes stacked along the road.  The large clearing just as you enter Poquoson is a city economic development effort in which the land is cleared to entice a perspective business developer.  The land has undergone Corps of Engineer permitting and the clearing must be accomplished before the permits expire.  Currently, there are is no specific development plan for the site.


4.  Board of Supervisors Actions


            a.  On a vote of 4 to 1 the Supervisors rejected a proposal to eliminate the York County Wetlands Board.  Comment:  The Wetlands Board is comprised of citizen volunteers who address issues concerning the development of the shoreline.  The Wetlands Board provides a means by which waterfront property owners can have their proposed projects reviewed and ruled on in a timely manner without undue delay.  York County's awarding winning Wetlands Board provides a significant contribution in the ongoing effort to balance the desires of the property owner with the requirement to minimize the negative impact of development on the coastal environment.


            b.  Unanimously approved modification of the firearms discharge ordinance.   The approved Ordinance No. 09-8 (R-2) modified Section 16-7 of the County Code by:


                        (1)  Removing restrictions on the discharge of pneumatic guns in the County

                        (2)  Added the Wythe Creek Farms, Sherwood Forest, Overlook Point and Villas on Shady Banks subdivisions to the list of neighborhoods where the discharge of firearms is prohibited

                        (3)  Requires notification to the school of an intent to discharge a firearm between 300 to 1,000 feet of a school.   Discharging a firearm within 300 feet of a school is still prohibited.


                        Comment:  The Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday,  July 20, 2010 to consider eliminating the County's restrictions on the discharge of firearms.  Sheriff Danny Diggs has proposed that the County's current restrictions are nearly impossible to enforce.   The Sheriff points out that state code covers nearly all possible circumstances involving the dangerous handling of firearms and that the history of firearm arrest does not warrant a more restrictive County code.  Due to the sensitive nature of this proposal, I have suggested and the other Supervisors agreed that the County will contact all homeowner associations with notice of the public hearing.  If you want to be heard on this issue, you may participate in the public hearing, which takes place in Historic Yorktown at York Hall located at the corner of Ballard Street and Main Street.  Public hearings begin at 7 p.m.  You will be allowed 3 minutes to address the Board of Supervisors when your name is called.  Another option is to send an email to BOS@yorkcounty.gov.  The email will go to all the Supervisors.


            c.  Unanimously approved Ordinance No. 10-10, which eliminated the requirement for a Tot Lot/Picnic Area on East Bristol Lane in the Yorkshire Downs subdivision.  Comment:  The Tot Lot/Picnic Area was an original subdivision requirement that became a community problem area.  The site was no longer required by the County or desired by the homeowners associations.


            d.  Unanimously approved the Secondary Road Program, which allocated $1.3 million for road projects over the next 6 years.  Comment:  VDOT is significantly short of road project funds and the $1.3 million allocated to York County is insufficient for road construction.  For example, the road improvement projects at the intersections of Big Bethel Road and Victory Boulevard and Big Bethel Road and Hampton Highway, cost just over $2.4 million.    Unless the County is allocated additional state funding, the Secondary Road Program for all practical purposes is dead.


5.  Hurricane Questions.  Hurricane season does not end until November 30th.  Recently, a homeowner asked a few questions concerning hurricane preparation that I thought might be of interest to you.


            a.  How will hurricane information be disseminated to the public? (I heard of a new system implemented by the authorities in Poquoson).  Answer:  York County provides information via public media outlets, the internet at www.yorkcounty.gov, as well as through an agreement with 99.1 FM.  Additionally, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Public Information Officer/Public Affairs Staff will be providing information via both traditional (media) and non-traditional means (e.g. social media).


            b.  What to do with water / natural gas / electricity supply to our homes in case of an evacuation?  Answer:  The Country's website has evacuation preparedness information including recommendations to lock your home and shut off the water and electricity, but leave the gas on unless instructed otherwise. The specific decision must be made by the homeowner--for example some homeowners may decide to leave the main power on but unplug most major electronics and appliances hoping that electricity may not be lost and thus refrigerators or freezers may continue to operate. If, however, power is lost for a lengthy period of time the food stuffs may spoil. 


            c. We are the happy owners of a whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch. Should we leave that active when evacuating our home?   Answer:  Congratulations on having a whole house generator. We recommend obtaining information from the generators manufacturer and when in doubt, shut the generator off.  This recommendation is consistent with our above recommendation to shut off the water and electricity, if evacuating.  We did seek information from other sources for guidance and received similar input as provided here.  


            d.  In case of an evacuation should we leave our houses open for inspection or should we lock everything preventing possible burglary?  Answer:  It is not recommended that you leave your home accessible (i.e. unlocked).  County officials including emergency responders will not enter your home without your knowledge unless there is an emergency situation that requires them to so, such as a fire, major structural damage, search for occupants and/or perceived or unknown life safety/hazardous situation. 


            e. I suggest a card to be attached to the front door, showing relief workers that the house concerned has been evacuated also presenting a way to reach the owners (i.e. telephone number).  Answer:  The County website provides a recommendation for you to leave a note and/or notify a neighbor of your whereabouts if you evacuate.  Your note can be left inside your residence and therefore would be accessible if we absolutely had to gain entry.  The preferred method would be to notify a neighbor that may remain in the area.  While we understand and appreciate your suggestion, we also realize that everyone in today's society marches to the beat of their own drum and may not be as well intentioned as we would like to hope.  The card, while a wonderful device to alert County officials and emergency responders would also serve as a placard that no one is home and therefore could make your residence an easy target for unlawful persons. 


* Comments and opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the position of other members of the York County Board of Supervisors.  If you wish to obtain comments from members of the Board of Supervisors, please visit the York County website at http://www.yorkcounty.gov.  Supervisor contact information is located on the website under the title "County Government."  Homeowner Associations are encouraged to use portions of this report in preparing their association newsletters.

Alexander of York

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Virginia state Laws in affect today

Jobs and Economic Development

SB 475 - Strengthens the criteria used for awarding monies from the
$25 million Governor's Opportunity Fund.

SB 472 - Lowers the threshold for the Major Business Facility Job Tax
Credit to 50 full-time jobs from 100, and in economically distressed
areas to 25 jobs from 50.

SB 623 - Creates a Green Jobs tax credit of up to $500 per position
for up to 350 new green jobs with an annual salary in excess of

Public Safety

SB 486 - Requires the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide
information to law-enforcement relating to involvement in or
investigations of criminal street gangs.

SB 520 - Adds murder of auxiliary police officers or auxiliary deputy
sheriffs to the capital murder statute.

SB 95 - Extends short-term disability benefits for state police
officers injured in the line of duty from 125 work days to up to one
calendar year.

Health and Human Resources

SB 417 - A resident of the Commonwealth shall not be required to
obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage except as
required by a court or the Department of Social Services where the
individual is named a party in a judicial or administrative

SB 652 - Required the Board of Education to develop and distribute to
local school divisions guidelines for dealing with concussions in

Budget Amendment 4-5.04 - Limits state funding of abortions to only
cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.


SB 537 - Increases the speed limit to 70 mph on highways that
currently have 65 mph speed limits.

HB 1159 - Requires drivers to move left on a four lane highway when
approaching vehicles displaying flashing blue, red, or amber lights.
This provision does not apply in highway work zones.

Military & Veterans' Affairs

SB 151 - Provides that a property owner's association shall not
prohibit or otherwise adopt a policy restricting an owner from
displaying the flag of the United States whenever such a display is in
compliance with the Federal Flag Code.

HJ 127 - Designates the Honor and Remember Flag as the Commonwealth's
emblem of service and sacrifice by the brave men and women of the
United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of

SB 31 - Provides for a referendum at the November 2, 2010, election to
approve or reject an amendment requiring the General Assembly to
provide a real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a
veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100
percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability.

Ethics Reform

SB 512 - Requires legislators to disclose on their Statement of
Economic Interest any salary they or members of their immediate
families earn from state of local governments or advisory agencies.

2nd Amendment

SB 334 - Allows persons with a concealed handgun permit to carry a
handgun concealed onto the premises of a restaurant or club and
prohibits them from consuming alcohol.

SB 408 - Allows persons who may lawfully possess a firearm to carry a
handgun in a private motor vehicle or vessel if it is in a container
or compartment.