Monday, October 22, 2018

October Virginia Peninsula Car Club Council (VPCCC) Monthly Meeting, October 24, 2018, 7PM

Greetings Car Buffs!!  
Our next membership meeting is this week coming, Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at 7 PM.   The location is at our normal location at Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton III Building.  525 Butler Farm Rd., Hampton, Va., 23666   (Just past the college's main campus)  

The meeting room is to the left of the Lobby, Room 717. Be sure to pass on to your family & friends and join us.  
We need YOU!!! to make our Council a continued success!!  Honesty, attendance has been dropping of late, and we would like to get the council delegates back to participating.  If you are not your clubs delegate, please let us know who is or who is the responsible officers.
Lots to discuss this week.  We will get an update on the upcoming Virginia Fall Classic Car Show!  Decisions need to be made on whether the upcoming potential for rain this weekend will impact the show driving a reschedule.

Also, we need to elect officers for 2019 who can drive the momentum forward.  All positions are up for new leadership.

We will discuss our upcoming events plus what other kind of ideas folks have for 2019

Doug Sample, VP

Friday, October 5, 2018

York County District 5 Report October 2018 by Supervisor Tom Shepperd

Dear Neighbors,


The purpose of the District 5 Report is to keep you up to date on activities in and around our area.  This month’s report includes a variety of subjects but focuses mainly on public safety issues.  Residents and homeowner associations are encouraged to share the information with others within their communities.  For those who do not receive the report, I will gladly add you to the distribution list upon request to either or  Please include your name and address in the request.  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

York County Board of Supervisors


Home (757) 868-8591

Mobile (757) 903-1875


-----------------------------------------------------------------October 2018 District 5 Report-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1.  Recycling Challenge.  Recycling is important to the residents and businesses of York County.  How do I know?  The citizens of York County made it very clear back in 2012 when it looked as if the recycling program might go away that they wanted it to stay.  Many of you will remember the sorting of paper, plastics and glass and the green tubs we carried out to the curb for collection.  Today, the much larger 96 gallon wheeled bin makes recycling much easier.  There was also a significant change in cost.  Where we once to paid about a $1 million a year for recycling, the cost came down to around $340,000.  Competition among the recycling companies and the nearly insatiable demand by China for recyclable material drove the cost way down. Today, significant changes in the worldwide market are negatively impacting on our program.  China, concerned about pollution, is prohibiting the importing of 56 types of solid waste material and is imposing enhanced quality control on other types.  How will this affect us? 


About one third of our recyclable material is exported to China and the market for #3 through #7 plastics no longer exists.  Mixed paper that the Virginia Peninsula Service Authority (VPPSA) used to receive $96 per ton is now getting only $2 per ton.  County Waste, our current recycling company, says it will have to cease service by November 30, 2018 if the VPPSA members do not come up with additional funds for the curbside service.  This cost will most likely be carried over into any new contract and may put us back to a cost of $1 million per year.  Other changes may include tighter control over the material we place in the recycling bins and the elimination of some material altogether.  Of course, the alternative to recycling is to dump the material into a landfill.  While I can’t speak for the entire Board of Supervisors, it is my sense that the Supervisors will do what is necessary to continue our recycling program in some form or fashion.  You can expect to hear more about possible changes in our recycling program over the next year.


2.  Potential Business Development on Big Bethel Road.  Several residents contacted me concerning the orange County sign at the corner of Big Bethel Road and Hampton Boulevard.  The sign is there to announce that the County has received an application to rezone the land and build a business that requires a Special Use Permit (SUP).  The developer has been working with owners of three parcels of land that comprise about six and half acres.  The developers wish to build a storage facility plus three store fronts on the site.  One third of the land is currently zoned Limited Business with the rest zoned Residential (R-20: half acre lots).  The zoning would change the assembled parcels from Limited Business and R-20 to General Business, which allows for more intense use of the property.   The initial application was missing significant detail.  It did not show the required building setback from the streets nor the required buffers for the green belt along Hampton Highway or between nearby homes and the proposed businesses.  Also missing were  the storm water facilities such as a drainage pond and the entrances/exits of the property were not in compliance with VDOT standards.  Project planning is in the initial stages of development and the County has requested that the applicant update the plan with the required buffers, etc.


Obviously, the application is not ready for prime time.  What is important now is that you become aware of the potential sale of the property and the pending rezoning from residential to commercial use.  As with all rezoning and SUP requests, the application will first go before the Planning Commission for a public hearing and recommendation before going to the Board of Supervisors for a final decision.  Members of the County staff informed me that they have already received several calls and emails concerning the project, which they forwarded to the applicant.  As the project is refined, there will be ample time for you to provide your thoughts on the rezoning and SUP to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors either through letter, email, phone call, or public hearing.  I will ensure the  neighbors  within District 5 are kept abreast of the development. 


3. Road Issue on Hampton Highway.  The two bridges on Hampton Highway (Route 134) between York County and the City of Hampton will soon undergo major construction.  The reason for the changes is to bring the bridges up to safety standards and prevent roadway closure as a result of unwanted failures.  The northbound bridge, that’s the one you cross when traveling from the City of Hampton to York County, will be completely replaced.  It was built in 1930 and VDOT considers it “Functionally Obsolete.”  The southbound bridge, that is the one you cross when traveling from York County to the City of Hampton, was built in 1973 and is in need of a superstructure replacement.


The project has been moving forward on VDOT’s schedule and is currently in the Right of Way Phase. During this phase you will see crews relocating utilities, which may look like construction with lane closures and equipment in the right of way.  The utility contractor will work between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  The project will move into the Construction Phase in 2019 and end sometime in 2021.  This is when the north and south bound lanes will be reduced from two lanes to one lane each way.  Construction will begin with the closing of the northbound bridge.  When this happens, the northbound traffic will crossover to the southbound bridge.  All traffic will switch to the northbound bridge when it is completed and work will then begin on the superstructure of the southbound bridge. 


4.  November 6, 2018 Election.  You can learn everything you need to know about the upcoming election by going to the York County webpage at  Once you are there, click on “Government” then select “Voter Registration.”  Mr. Walt Latham, York County’s Voter Registrar, has led a masterful effort to provide you with critical information about voting and the election.  One word of caution.  While all the information is there on the Registrar’s site, it can be really confusing if you try to dig it out one piece at a time.  The Registrar has created hyper links to help you quickly cut through the confusion.  On the front page of the Registrar’s site you can quickly confirm that you are registered to vote, identify your voting location, and apply for an absentee ballot. For questions about voting in this year’s election, please call the Voter Registrar’s Office at 757-890-3440.  The office is located in the County Administration Center, 224 Ballard Street, Yorktown, VA 23690.


Here are some important dates and times for this year’s election:


October 15th – This is the last day to register to vote.  It is also the last day for submitting a change of address.

October 30th – This is the last day to apply for an absentee application by mail.

November 3rd – This is the last day to vote absentee in person at the Central Absentee Precinct (CAP) in Historic Yorktown.  Please note that the CAP will be open on two Saturdays, October 27th and November 3rd

November 6th – All precincts will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. 


You can see what our ballot looks like on the Registrar’s webpage by selecting the “CLICK HERE” hyperlink.  This will take you to another page where you can select “What will my ballot look like? What will I be voting on?”


This year we will be voting on the following:


- Member United States Senate:


            Corey A. Stewart – R

                        Timothy M. Kaine – D

Matt J. Waters – L


- Member House of Representatives 2nd District:


                        Scott W. Taylor –R

                        Elaine G. Luria – D


            - Treasurer (York County) For unexpired term to end December 31, 2019:


David C. Westcott Jr

Candice D. Kelley


You will be asked to vote on two proposed constitutional amendments questions:


            Question 1 – Should a county, city, or town be authorized to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to recurrent flooding, if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property?  A yes vote will authorize the General Assembly to allow localities to provide the partial tax exemption.  A no vote will not allow such a tax exemption.


                        Comment:  I have several concerns about this fairly open ended constitutional amendment.  For example, authorization by the state for a property exemption does not mean a local government has to implement it.  We will not know the impact of the exemptions until after they are established and implemented.  Additionally, every time the constitution is changed to establish an exemption, the tax burden is passed on to the nonexempt tax payers.  I estimate today that there are thousands of tax exemptions that significantly burden the nonexempt tax payer, which is most of you. 


            Question 2 – Shall the real property tax exemption for a primary residence that is currently provided to the surviving spouses of veterans who had a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability be amended to allow the surviving spouse to move to a different primary residence and still claim the exemption?  A yes vote will allow the surviving spouse to move and still claim the tax exemption.  A no vote will not allow the surviving spouse to move and still claim the tax exemption. 


                        Comment:  Tax exemption for a 100% disabled American Veteran and the surviving spouse is one that I fully support.  This exemption will apply only if the surviving spouse does not remarry.


5.  Mosquito Control  -This summer Langley AFB announced the presence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes captured in their monitoring program.  This discovery led to the aerial spraying of the base.  Several York residents emailed me concerned that York County was not taking action to combat the problem.  I want to take this opportunity to update you on the County’s mosquito program.


The County is very proactive in addressing mosquito issues.  First, we have a staff dedicated to mosquito issues in York County.  The County is divided into 11 spray districts and the staff runs 37 mosquito traps each week.  We test mosquitoes for West Nile, encephalitis and other diseases.  When there is a positive result the samples are sent to the Virginia Health Department for additional testing.  To control the mosquito population, the staff stocks water areas such as BMPs with minnows called the (Eastern Gambusia).  They also use eight different larvicides in powder and pill from.  During ground truck spraying, the staff uses a chemical called Duet to control adult mosquitoes.  We are the only municipality on the Peninsula that sprays at 2 a.m. in order to avoid killing bees and other helpful insects.  Once the mosquito population reaches a certain count, the County will then contract with a private firm for aerial spraying.  The County has a notification process to keep the public informed of pending aerial spraying.


The staff tracks West Nile in three different species of mosquitoes.  The most common mosquito is call the House Mosquito.  It only travels about 100 yards during its life time.  I often like to warn people that if they do not take care and end up raising mosquitoes around their homes, they will be the first to be bitten. 


Langley AFB has a natural environment that is very marshy with large pockets of standing water.  The predominate mosquito at Langley is called the Marsh Mosquito.  The samplings around our area indicates that we have very few Marsh Mosquito.  Currently, the overall mosquito population in York County is rather low and therefore does not warrant aerial spraying.  Citizens in York County can request that the County come out to their property to inspect for mosquitoes.  All they have to do is call 890-3791.


6.  Fire and Life Safety Services. 


We all can see and feel the effects of population growth in York County.  There are more homes, more cars, less land for development and the relative high price for housing reflects a strong desire to live in York County.   The County’s growth rate has been less than one percent a year for more than an decade, which is a very manageable rate.  However, population growth and demographic changes such as an aging population along with public expectations for rapid emergency response has resulted in an increase in demands on our Fire and Life Service.  The service goal of our professional Fire Department is to respond to an emergency in less than five minutes and Fire Station #2 on Big Bethel Road accounts for 22%of all fire and Emergency Medical Service in York County.  The continued trend of increasing service calls has led the Board of Supervisors to incrementally grow our Fire and Life Safety staff.  


Here is a snap shot of demands on Fire and Life Safety: (Incident per units per year)


a.  Housing:


- Family Subdivision -  1 call per 7.2 homes

- Apartment/multi-family complex – 1 call for 4.7 units

- Age Restricted facility – 1 call to 2.4 units

- Congregate care/assisted living/nursing homes – 1.4 calls per each unit/bed


Observation:  Age related facilities require greater service.  As more and more age related facilities are built in York County we can expect an increase demand for more staff and equipment


b. Commercial facilities (calls per year):


- Big box stores like Walmart – 50 calls

- Strip mall – between 12 to 30 calls per mall

- Doctor offices/quick meds – 33 calls per facility


c. Population age (percent of all calls): 


- 0 to 14 years – 5.69%

- 15 to 24 years – 7.68%

- 25-34 years – 9.21%

- 35-49 years – 11.68%

- 50-64 years – 17.28%

- 65 and older – 48.46%


Observation:  As with age related facilities, the older the population the greater the demand.  It is estimated that by the year 2035 over 25 percent of the population will be above the age of 65.


Besides fighting fires, the Fire Department staff does a great job in seeking public safety grants that not only enhances the Fire Department’s service but saves on tax dollars.  Here is a great example of the grant effort.  Since 2017, York County’s Department of Fire and Life Safety has received over $800,000 in competitive grants.  These funds allowed the County to hire six additional firefighters that will be onboard in 2019 .  Their additions will provide more fighters/EMS personnel in response to emergency calls.  Additionally, the funds were used to buy a new breathing air compressor that will be located at Fire Station #1 on Dare Road, new medical equipment for the emergency transport of children, and equipment used in response to hazardous material incidents.  Also, the grant money helped to purchased Unmanned Aerial System equipment that is used jointly with the Sheriff’s Office for firefighting and law enforcement operations.



7.  Notes from Commonwealth Attorney Ben Hahn: 


a. Crime data and trends


There is no doubt that crime is increasing and becoming more violent in York County and Poquoson.  When I came to the Commonwealth’s Office in 2007, we would average one homicide a year with, at most, two pending at a time due to the overlap of one case ending and one case beginning.  At present, we have seven (7) homicide cases pending.  If we add pending attempted murders and malicious woundings, that number more than doubles.  We presently have a three (3) week trial scheduled in January and February 2019 on one first degree murder charge.  Armed robberies, burglaries, sexual assaults and possession/manufacture/distribution of child pornography are happening in York County and Poquoson with alarming frequency.  Although not as serious, but no less concerning, are the increasing number of individuals who enter the County under the cover of darkness to rummage through unlocked vehicles.  Most of these car burglaries are perpetrated by young men or juveniles who live in surrounding jurisdictions.  We must educate the citizenry to lock their vehicles and take other precautions so that our jurisdiction does not attract this type of criminality. 


There can be little doubt that the increase in crime is directly related to the increase in heroin/opioid use and to the  increased potency of marijuana and its derivatives.  Drug usage that was once confined to inner cities has found its way to suburbia.  Unfortunately, this is a nationwide phenomenon.


b. Body Worn Cameras (BWC)


I am eternally grateful for the Board’s understanding of the impact that the Sheriff’s deployment of BWCs has had upon the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Although the review of the BWC footage is daunting, without the additional attorney provided by the Board, the additional workload would have been crushing. 


Perhaps the most telling evidence regarding BWCs is the fact that the Virginia General Assembly has recognized that BWCs have caused a sea change in the prosecution of criminal cases.  The Virginia Senate went so far as to place the following language in the most recent budget bill:


“J. Notwithstanding § 15.2-1636.14., any locality in the Commonwealth that elects to employ the use of body worn cameras for its law enforcement officers shall be required to hire one entry level Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, at a salary established by the Compensation Board, at a rate of one Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for up to 50 body worn cameras employed for use by patrol officers, and one Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for every 50 body worn cameras employed for use by patrol officers, thereafter.”


Fortunately, this “unfunded mandate” was not adopted.  The issue is not going away, however, because in lieu of the mandate, the Compensation Board was directed to convene a “working group” to recommend “budgetary and legislative actions for consideration during the 2019 Session.”  Again, I applaud the Board of Supervisors for recognizing the need before the General Assembly did.  I sincerely hope that the General Assembly does not dictate a “one size fits all” unfunded mandate upon localities.  Although we are in the infancy of dealing with the numerous challenges posed by BWCs, I have no doubt that, with time, we will become more efficient and that, in years to come, future prosecutors will question how we ever prosecuted cases without such technology.


8.  Notes from Sheriff Danny Diggs.


a.  Crime Trends.


Over the past 18 years the District 5 Reports have identified numerous incidences of Larceny from vehicles.  Wallets, purses, cameras, loose change, golf clubs, checkbooks, credit cards, computers, and guns along with many other items were taken. One characteristic of these crimes is that over 98% of the vehicles were unlocked.  Today, larceny from vehicles remains the most prevalent crime in York County.  The simplest way to protect your property is to remove valuables and lock your vehicles.


Opioid overdose is still a very serious problem in York County.  Sheriff Deputies responded to 126 calls for opioid overdoses in the past two years.  The death rate from opioids in Virginia is 13.5 deaths per 100,000 persons.  In 2015, Virginia providers wrote 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons, which equates to about 5.6 million prescriptions.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these figures are equivalent to the national average.    York County Deputies now carry Narcan on their duty belts and have administered Narcan more than 50 times in the past two years.   Narcan (Naloxone HCI) is  used for the treatment of an opioid emergency  or a possible opioid overdose.


Comment:  Taking fentanyl, which is an opioid, without prescription, especially when mixed with other medication or alcohol can result in death.  Parents, please talk with your children about the very real dangers of experimenting with drugs.


b.  Upgrades.


            State funds are insufficient to meet the law enforcement requirements of York County and as a result, the County funds over 50% of the deputies within the Sheriff’s Department.  Over the past three budget years, eight new deputies were added to the Department.  Two of the new positions are School Resource Officers in the middle schools.  In 2017, the County provided a state of the art mobile command post and funding for the Unmanned Aerial System program that is used jointly with the York County Fire Department.


            The quick adoption of new technology in law enforcement has met with tremendous success in York County.  The purchase of body cameras and software that is integrated with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has been timely and effective.  The shooting death of a perpetrator by one of our deputies was captured by a body camera and helped to quickly defuse a potentially disruptive and tense situation.  Another example of technology upgrade is the installation of new mobile data terminals for Sheriff’s Office patrol cars.  These new devices allow deputies on patrol to quickly prioritize and respond to emergency calls.


            Other significant improvements that enhance law enforce include $250,000 to help fund the Sheriff’s Office Training/Firearms Range located on County property off of Goodwin Neck Road, funding for the K9 program, and most recently proposed funding in Fiscal Year 2020 for construction of a new Sheriff’s Office facility.


* Homeowner Associations are encouraged to use portions of this report in preparing their association newsletters.  Comments and opinions expressed in the District 5 Report do not necessarily represent the position of the other members of the York County Board of Supervisors.  All email correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and to the Virginia Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.