In Megyn Kelly’s Fox News report about the tragic event in Roanoke, where a news reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed, toward the end of the hour she had a liberal from Obama’s W H, as well as a lady who supports the 2nd Amendment. Of course, the liberal wants more gun control as if one more law on top of the 23,000 already on the books will keep felons and nut cases from obtaining guns. The killer yesterday passed the great background check in VA as did the mad man at VPI. Besides yesterday’s sad event the last two notorious murders were done by people who passed the background check due to bad record keeping by the FBI. Following the murder of the pretty woman in San Francisco immediately a liberal on TV called for more gun control. What good are gun laws when deportees are permitted to keep returning and then steal a service weapon from a real estate agent (BLM agent) left in a parked car? The lady last night put her finger on the problem and I have tried to lie this out for my elected “representatives” but they really don’t have the time to protect the public. The crux of the matter is that the laws are not being enforced.
Flounder are still biting, however the overall catch is showing signs of slowing down. There are reports of some good action near the CBBT, with general good luck with jigs or live bait. Reports have noted many are still being caught over the 20 inch mark. Cobia anglars still appear to be the winners, with nice pods still hanging around the lower Cheaspeake Bay. Buoys and CBBT pilings are still producing good numbers. There have been some reports of red drum hitting around the lower Bay, as well as Sheepshead along the CBBT.
Spanish mackerel is still showing signs of slowing, but there are still some reports from the mid to lower bay. Spade fish are still reported, but most should be moving out as the summer ends.
With the presidential election process beginning to take shape, the issue of Immigration reform is a hot button issue. While Donald Trump may want to build a wall (and have Mexico pay for it), this may not be the best thing for the economy. The Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project states that there are over 8.4 million unauthorized immigrants working in America. For Northampton County, these workers are critical. Without them, the current workforce would decline, and this would have a serious effect on elements of our core economy, such as agricultural production.
Even as undocumented workers are easy political targets, statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that, “about half of the hired workers employed in U.S. crop agriculture were unauthorized, with the overwhelming majority of these workers coming from Mexico.” The USDA has also warned that, “Any potential immigration reform could have significant impacts on the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.” For perspective, if our immigrant labor force was cleared out, U.S. retail milk prices would increase well over 50 percent.
What happened with Smitty Dize?
First of all, that is a personnel matter, and we don’t discuss that. I will say that Smitty left on good terms.
Cape Charles Mirror Report
by Wayne Creed
The Northampton Board of Supervisors met for a marathon, three hour session Monday which covered topics from future land use mapping and lot coverage limits, Town Edge and agritourism. The topic of intensive poultry farming coming to the county however, was once again front and center. With somewhat confusing and contradictory information about intensive poultry operations coming from both staff and the Board, citizens have been looking for some notice about what the future holds. Once again, there was contradictory information being passed on to citizens–on the one hand, staff claims there has been little or no contact with the poultry industry, and a few moments later, the Board informs its constituents that the industry would ‘prefer’ to build chicken houses north of Eastville, so as to avoid contaminating the breeding facility there.
The Northampton Board of Supervisors wouldn’t know a good idea if it poured a bucket of ice water over them.
Hire somebody to market the county? We just paid a so-called Economic Development Director more than a quarter million dollars to do just that. The Board hired him with no marketing experience, no rural development experience, and guess what? Surprise—he took our money, hit the road and left us with jack squat.
Saturday, August 29
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The Exmoreons playing at The Great Machipongo Clam Shack. Join local favorites B.K. Kurzbard and Eddie Dixon for a night of classic blues, rock, and more! “These guys are the rockinest rock-a-billys on the Shore…nobody got that twang like Eddie Dixon!”–wayne creed
Call 442-3800 for reservations. No cover charge. Nightly seafood specials and healthy menu options.
Sunday, August 30
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Concert & Picnic in the Park featuring the Kasey Rae Band. Smokin’ hot country with a rock and roll attitude. Bring the family, a picnic basket and lawn chairs or a blanket to relax on the grass. Come out and enjoy Cape Charles’ Central Park and our featured entertainment.This event is sponsored by the Citizens for Central Park.
As the aquaculture industry continues to grow and prosper here on the Eastern Shore, the use of plastic mesh, sometimes called clam netting, has become even more ubiquitous. Clam netting is used by growers to protect the juvenile clams from predators as they mature to market size. The maturation of the clam to market takes place in three phases–first is the hatchery phase, which is designed to provide the ideal growing conditions for the brood stock. This is followed by the nursery phase, during which time the juvenile clams are nurtured. The last phase, known as the grow-out, is where seed clams are planted and eventually harvested at market size.
The clam growers need the clam nets to protect their clams. Without net, cultured clams could not be planted in the wild and have survival rates that could sustain the industry. The nets provide adequate and cost effective protection from most predators encountered on the seaside of the Eastern Shore. To be effective, the nets must remain intact. Even a small tear of a few inches can allow some predators to devastate entire beds of clams. Growers have developed effective ways of securing their nets over the young clams to protect them. Despite the care given to ensure that nets are properly placed, nets are still damaged or destroyed by man-made and naturally occurring events.
One problem with clam netting, which was identified in the early 2000s, is the abandonment of the netting during and after harvesting. Unfortunately, the issue of abandoned nets is still occurring today. The netting can be found on the barrier islands, as well the coves and islands of locations such as Plantation Creek.
One issue we have heard from smaller growers is that the netting is so large, that using regular dumpsters to dispose of it is impractical, which means more and longer trips to the landfill. After a long day of harvesting on the water, the temptation to just discard the netting on site can be an attractive option. Although it is still illegal to dump any form of plastic or polymer from a watercraft, ‘storing’ the discarded netting on site, to be ‘removed at a later date’, is currently an option. If the tide happens to take it away before it can be removed, so be it.
Since the clam netting issue first became visible, Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper has been working with the aquaculture industry to help remediate the amount of discarded clam nets washing up along the Bay and Barrier Islands. Back in 2004 (and 2006), Shorekeeper issued reports on the status of discarded clam netting ( “Discarded and Abandoned Aquaculture Clam Netting on the Atlantic Barrier Islands on the Eastern Shore of Virginia”). According to those assessments, “ the potential cumulative and secondary impacts of discarded clam netting to the Seaside’s fragile ecosystem. Preliminary results indicate that the netting has little short term environmental impact and acts in a very similar fashion to beach wrack”.
As the photos indicate, there is still way too much clam netting washing up on the beach and islands; a more current study may be needed. Given how tough the netting is, analysis of the long term, cumulative effects it is having on the coastal environment certainly seems warranted. To be fair, it should also be noted that the aquaculture industry is attempting to address this issue themselves. Working with Shorekeeper, local growers helped to create a “Clam Net Hotline” to report discarded netting.
As the Eastern Shore aquaculture industry continues to boom, discarded netting washing up all over the place still has the potential to damage not only the coastal environment, but also current branding efforts. Given the vital role this industry is playing in our local economy, it may be time to incorporate proper disposal techniques for clam netting in Aquaculture Best Management Practices.
Editors Note: All images of abandoned netting are from July and August this year.
Cape Charles Mirror Review
by Wayne Creed
When my children were young, like most dads, I would read to them at bedtime, just before they went to sleep. It became one of our nightly routines, one that we almost never missed. It was a wonderful time of life, as not only was I exposing my children to new ideas and worlds through books, it was also a way for me to reconnect with parts of my own childhood, able to revisit some of the books that I loved growing up. As an adult (and English Major), it also gave me an appreciation for the talent and quality that can go into the children’s book genre.
I’ve attended the last several Town Council meetings primarily to hear what will happen to the Cape Charles by the Bay website. In June, I was encouraged to hear that the Town awarded the contract for the website to the Cape Charles Wave, LLC. In a fair contest, they submitted a bid for $5,300 in contrast to the next closest bid of $9,700—a difference of over $4000. Naively, I thought that the Town had been able to set aside hard feelings created when the Cape Charles Wave online Newspaper voiced opposition to the sale of the former school for $10. What some saw as hard-hitting reporting others saw as inflammatory and inaccurate.