October 2020

Citizen News WeeklyOctober 30, 2020

Bring Your Playful Pups to Saturday’s Paws at the River Market!  Next week, Vintage Market Returns to the MAC

  • It’s going to be a PAWSITIVELY fabulous Halloween this Saturday, Oct. 31 as Yorktown Market Days celebrates its annual Paws at the River. More than 50 vendors and artists will line the Riverwalk with the market fun extending down to the green in front of Water Street Grille. That’s where you'll find several pet vendors and animal rescue organizations. The market runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with free pet pictures from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (If you are in line by noon, you will get your photo taken. All images will be uploaded to Visit Yorktown’s Facebook page on Nov. 2). The Halloween Pet Parade takes place at 1 p.m. and will make a short loop around the market (social distancing will apply and masks must be worn to participate in the parade). NEW this year - participating businesses will hand out goodies from 10 to 3. A trick-or-treat map will be posted at Visit Yorktown along with several signs displayed throughout town that day. A limited number of bags will be available at each location. Your child may also want to bring his or her own to the market. For visitors with dogs who are skittish around loud noises, please make note that the Fifes and Drums of York Town will march through the area at 10 a.m.
     
  • COMING UP NEXT WEEK:  Market fun moves to the MAC (McReynolds Athletic Complex). If you enjoy shopping for restored old furniture; vintage clothing and jewelry; and one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces—you don’t want to miss York County's Vintage Market on November 7. You're invited to browse the McReynolds Athletic Complex from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to search for collectibles, antiques, art, accessories, and unique home décor! www.visityorktown.org 

Deadline Approaches for District 4 Residents to Apply for Board Vacancy 

  • Citizens interested in applying for appointment have until 5 p.m., Friday, November 6, to submit their paperwork. You must be registered to vote in District 4 in order to qualify for appointment. The application form and instructions are available online.

Visit the York County Public Libraries on Mondays beginning Nov. 2

  • The Tabb and Yorktown branches of the York County Public Library adds Mondays to its days of operation effective Monday, November 2.  These branches will now be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Both libraries will be closed on Sunday.  Welcome back, Mondays at the Libraries! 

Grafton School Complex Reopens as Polling Place for Election Day; Early In Person Voting Concludes Saturday, October 31

  • Grafton precinct voters will be casting their votes on Election Day at the Grafton School Complex on Grafton Drive. The polling place was temporarily closed due to a February 3 fire that occurred at the school. This location is back open for those registered voters to cast their ballots!  For more information, please see today’s press release.
  • The last day for citizens to vote early in person at one of the Voter’s Registrar’s Office locations is tomorrow, October 31 at 5 p.m. The Registrar’s Offices are located in Washington Square Shopping Center and Victory Village Shopping Center. Offices are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website or call (757) 890-3440. 

Time to Break Out Your Rakes and Clear Plastic Bags . . . Leaf Collection Begins November 16

  • York County has just announced the dates for this year’s leaf collection program – Monday, November 16 to Friday, January 29. Residents on public streets may put an unlimited number of clear bags of leaves to the roadside on Monday of their collection week. For this program, the County is divided into a northern zone and a southern zone with collections occurring on alternating weeks.  For complete program details read this week’s press release. 

Regional Industrial Facility Association Announces Solar Farm in York Co.

  • Just last week, the Eastern Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority (EVRIFA) approved the acquisition of 432-acres of land—former Commonwealth of Virginia property—and leased a portion of the property for development of a solar energy facility. Six of the 10 regional ENRIFA partners are funding the costs associated with this project and will share in the revenues that result from the construction of the solar facility and potential future development elsewhere on the property located on Penniman Road in York County.  Complete details are available on the EVRIFA website. 

Governor Northam Expands Rebuild VA Business Grant Program

  • The Rebuild VA grant program, designed to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is expanding its eligibility criteria and increasing the amount of grant money businesses may receive—from a maximum of $10,000 to a high of $100,000. Rebuild VA is now open to all types of Virginia small businesses that meet size and other eligibility requirements. Information on this and other grant programs is available on the York County Economic Development website

Drug Take Back/Shred Event a HUGE Success

  • Last Saturday’s drop off was a tremendous hit with residents who waited in their cars to safely dispose of prescription medications and personal paperwork.  The final tally is in with 11,200 pounds of papers shredded/recycled and 306 pounds of medications collected!  Also, residents were invited to donate items for the food pantry and plastic bags for recycling: 844 pounds of non-perishable food items were donated and an estimated 40 pounds of plastic bags were collected. Visit the Waste Management website for more recycling news.    

Citizen News Weekly is compiled and published by York County Public Affairs each Friday to share news and events with our citizens and neighbors. This weekly newsletter is placed on our website and delivered directly to your inbox. If you wish to get the most recent news every week, please subscribe here. Questions? Contact Gail Whittaker, Public Information Officer: (757) 890-3310 (office); (757) 817-2665 (cell); or whittgl@yorkcounty.gov..

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Citizen News Weekly

October 23, 2020

York County Operations Update Is Now Citizen News Weekly 

  • Beginning today, the Friday press release/status update becomes “Citizen News Weekly.” York County Public Affairs is dedicated to keeping our residents informed with updates on County operations, programs, and events. Gail Whittaker, PIO explains “These weekly updates are proving to be very effective in communicating the most up-to-date information from across the County departments and we will continue producing them indefinitely.” During the pandemic, the quarterly Citizen News has been published online and will continue to be, with the last issue for 2020 due out mid-November. All Citizen News Weekly updates will be posted on the website and emailed to anyone who signs up at notify me. For daily news and messaging be sure to follow us on Facebook. As we move into 2021, we are already thinking about new opportunities to deliver more of the information you need to know. 

Board Seeks Applicants for District 4 Vacancy

  • At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Chad Green reviewed the process for citizens interested in applying for appointment to the district 4 seat.  The application form and instructions are available online and in the press release issued Tuesday evening. See how the Board voted on the three public hearing items that were on Tuesday’s agenda here. There is no meeting on the first Tuesday in November. The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17.

Reminder:  Drug Take Back/Shred Event Tomorrow (10/24)

  • Bring your expired/unused prescription medicines and personal paperwork to the Drug Take Back/Shred Event tomorrow, Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the York County Public Works Complex, 105 Service Drive, for safe and confidential disposal. This service is free and a great way to protect yourself and your family from drug misuse and identity theft.

Last Day to Vote Early In Person is Saturday, October 31

  • The last day for citizens to vote early in person at one of the Voter’s Registrar’s Office locations is Saturday, October 31 at 5 p.m. The Registrar’s Offices are located in Washington Square Shopping Center and Victory Village Shopping Center.  Offices will be open Saturday, October 24 and Saturday October 31, for early voting and to accept voted absentee ballots that had been mailed to voters.  Saturday h of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website or call (757) 890-3440. 

Monday Operating Hours Resume at Libraries Beginning November 2

  • Beginning Monday, November 2, the Tabb and Yorktown branches of the York County Public Library will be open to the public. Effective November 2, hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Both libraries will be closed on Sunday. The first hour of each day (10-11 a.m.) will be reserved for senior citizens and at-risk individuals.
    • Patrons are required to wear a face covering or mask and practice social distancing guidelines while in the library.
    • All returned items will continue to be quarantined for 72 hours. 
    • Book drops will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • In-house programs, study rooms and meeting rooms will not be available at this time.
    • Curbside pickup remains available to those who are not able to enter the building. 

Temporary Closure of Colonial Parkway Williamsburg Tunnel  

  • The National Park Service has announced the temporary closure of the Williamsburg Tunnel on the Colonial Parkway from 9 am on Monday, October 26, 2020 through 5 pm on Friday, October 30, 2020 for an in-depth assessment of the lighting system. Detours will provide a through route in both directions during the closure. Further details are available on their website.

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October 16 - Status Update

Saturday, October 17 Market Celebrates First Responders

  • Our inaugural First Responders Market—tomorrow (10/17) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.—will be a morning dedicated to our firefighters, sheriff's deputies, 911 emergency communications dispatchers, public works officials, and other healthcare and first responders who keep our community safe. Stop by and let them know how much we appreciate them! Many vendors and artists will also be providing discounts to first responders who show up to shop the market.

    Enjoy spectacular views of the York River, live music, food trucks, and a variety of vendors! Shop for seasonal produce; fresh seafood and meats; breads; fresh-cut flowers; handmade soaps and candles; honey; gourmet dog treats; and a beautiful display of work from local artists and artisans.

    Several emergency vehicles and officials will be on site that day to educate and answer questions. You won't be able to miss the York County Fire & Life Safety ladder truck! The York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office will also have a patrol car, crime prevention trailer, DARE tent, motorcycles, K-9 unit, and maybe even their drone at the market that day. Public Works will have a large Vactor Truck that's used to handle large-scale liquid and sludge clean-up. They're used where any large-scale liquid transport is necessary!

    Be sure to stop by the Riverwalk Landing Concert Stage to talk to Riverside Emergency staff and view inspiring images taken by local photographer Michael Taylor of Sigmon Taylor Photography. Riverside has commissioned him to shoot more than 150 images to honor first responders. They proudly hang on the walls of emergency departments all across Hampton Roads. The ages of participants have ranged from 16 to 76 and represent SWAT teams, bomb units, dive teams, marine units, and helicopter teams, as well as law enforcement, fire, and rescue units. You’ll be able to see some up close in this special digital exhibit. Read more about Riverside’s “First Responders Project” here!  

Drug Take Back/Shred Event Coming Up Next Weekend

  • It’s time to go through your medicine cabinets and your desk drawers in search of unused or outdated prescription medications and old paperwork and bring them to the Drug Take Back/Shred Event on Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the York County Public Works Complex, 105 Service Drive. This service is free and a great way to protect yourself and your family from drug misuse and identity theft.  We are also using this opportunity to collect non-perishable food items for needy families in the area. Don’t forget to bring your plastic bags for the Trex free bench challenge. Complete details, including what drug items are not accepted, are available online. 

County Offices, including Voter Registrar locations, Closed Monday, October 19 – Yorktown Day

  • York County offices are closed in observance of Yorktown day – the anniversary of the British Surrender in 1781. The Voter Registrar’s offices, located in Washington Square Shopping Center and Victory Village Shopping Center, are closed on Yorktown Day. Garbage and recycling are not affected by these holidays. The Courts are open.  Complete details are available in a press release. 

Next Household Chemical Collection is November 14

  • Residents are reminded that several times a year, VPPSA holds a Household Chemical and Computer Recycling event in York County. The next event is Saturday, November 14, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Operations Drive (between Service Drive and County Drive just off Goodwin Neck Road).  Latex paint is no longer recycled at the Waste Management Center, so please bring all your excess paints to the collection event.  For a complete list of acceptable items, visit the York County Waste Management page. 

October 20 Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda Now Online

  •   The Board of Supervisors will meet remotely on Tuesday, October 20. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is broadcast live on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) and live-streamed from the County’s website.  The agenda, with the phone numbers to call to make public comment, is available online.  There are three public hearings on the agenda. At this meeting, Chairman Chad Green will discuss the District 4 vacancy and the application process that will be utilized to appoint a Supervisor to fill the seat.

October 9 - Status Update

Fall Fun at this Saturday’s Extended Market; Childcare Assistance for York County Families; Deadline to Register to Vote October 13

Join in the Fun at Tourism Development’s Fall Market this Weekend

  • During the October 10 special extended farmers market at the beautiful Historic Yorktown Waterfront, shop vendors and artists selling seasonal favorites like gourds, autumn-inspired art, kettle corn, candy apples, and sweet potato pies. NEW this year . . . Allen's Farm will set up a special pumpkin patch with pumpkins of all sizes for sale. An expert pumpkin carver will give live demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Ron Herrick. Make sure to take part in our annual "Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin" contest! Prizes presented by Allen's Farm, Pumpkinville, and Sycamore Springs Farm. The Fifes and Drums of York Town perform at 10 a.m. This year’s hay maze is set up in front of the fountain. Carrot Tree will be selling caramel apples and hot cider in front of their restaurant, and you won't want to miss the delicious menu Chef Hines is cooking up to sell outside Water Street Grille. Be on the lookout for fun photo cutouts to take pictures as digital souvenirs! 

We are taking important precautions to keep our customers and vendors safe amidst COVID-19 concerns, including required spacing between vendors and a setup to avoid congestion in typically high-traffic areas. All vendors and staff are required to wear face coverings when interacting with customers who are less than 6 feet away. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up as you enter, as well as signs stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted to shop at the market.

  • The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for our first Rhythms on the Riverwalk concert last week. The limited capacity, online ticket reservation system and socially distanced circles, provided a safe fun way for the community to gather at the waterfront. Check-in begins at 5:30 Friday night and seats are first come, first served. It promises to be another wonderful evening of live music. The final performance featuring BJ Griffin Band is October 16 and tickets are still available! This is a rescheduled date for the concert that was originally rained out. Reserve your tickets online. Note: There are no tickets remaining for tonight’s (10/9) concert featuring Good Shot Judy.

Grant Program Helps Pay Tuition for School-Aged Childcare so Parents can Work/Attend Job-Training

  • The CASSAC program (Care and Supervision of School Age Children) is a regional partnership between the United Way, Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula, and eight neighboring jurisdictions – including York County – that is available to eligible citizens. The program covers up to 100% of tuition costs for both full and part-time attendance of safe and supportive virtual learning environments. Funded by the CARES Act, CASSAC also benefits local childcare providers who can receive grant-vouchers that will pay up to 140% of the base tuition for school-age children enrolled in virtual learning. For more information, please call (757) 229-2222 or visit CASSAC online.

Register Now for Treat Trails at New Quarter Park

  • Trails at the County’s beautiful New Quarter Park will be open to children ages 6- 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, for a special event. Kids are invited to walk along trails and collect treats! Afterward, children can visit the park’s pumpkin patch, choose their favorite, and attend our carving workshop to complete their jack-o-lantern. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged. Staff and volunteers will be wearing facemasks. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and incorporate a cloth mask into your child’s costume. Cost is $10 for your first child and $5 for each additional child in your household. Please register online by Saturday, October 17. For more information, call (757) 890-5840 or send an email to michael.wilcox@yorkcounty.gov. New Quarter Park is located at 1000 Lakeshead Drive, upper York County.

Upcoming Holiday Closings

  • York County offices are open Monday, October 12 (Columbus Day); however, the Courts are closed. On Monday, October 19, County offices close to observe Yorktown day – the anniversary of the British Surrender in 1781. The Voter Registrar’s offices, located in Washington Square Shopping Center and Victory Village Shopping Center, are closed on Yorktown Day. Garbage and recycling are not affected by these holidays. Complete details are available in a press release.

Last Day to Register to Vote

  • Citizens who will be 18 on or before Election Day are reminded that Tuesday, October 13, is the last day to register to vote in Virginia. For more information, please visit the Voter Registrar’s website.

Supervisors seek applicants for Peninsula Agency on Aging Board

  • Residents interested in serving on the Peninsula Agency on Aging (PAA) board are asked to submit an application available on the County’s website. The PAA board maintains the comprehensive system that helps older citizens find the resources they need to live independently. For more information on applying for appointment to this or another board, please call (757) 890-3320.

October 6 Board of Supervisors Meeting Available to View Online

  • The Board of Supervisors October 6 work session was held remotely. Meeting details are available here with presentation materials also available online. Meeting replays are always available to view online and are shown on WYCGTV (Cox 46, Verizon 38). The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20.

October 2 - Status Update

WanderLOVE Market Debut; Fire Prevention Week; Halloween 2020; County Offices Continue to Reopen

Celebrate Yorktown’s Uniqueness at this Saturday’s WanderLOVE Market

  • Join us at Tourism Development’s extended WanderLOVE Market, this Saturday (10/3) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., for a town-wide celebration of what makes our market location so unique. Whether it's our great food, Revolutionary roots, or beautiful waterfront backdrop, this is your chance to meet your neighbors and find what you love in Yorktown! In addition to all your favorite market vendors and artists, you’ll have an opportunity to support Historic Yorktown's small businesses and learn more about the community partners and non-profit organizations committed to preserving the area's history. Special exhibits are set up inside the Freight Shed with a special performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 10 a.m. Social distancing applies. Facemasks required indoors. Learn more at Visit Yorktown.

October 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week!

  • During National Fire Prevention Week – and year round! - the Department of Fire & Life Safety’s website is overflowing with information and resources you can use to keep your family and home safe.  And, WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) is airing programs that can teach you about avoiding common hazards to prevent fires and accidents. Be sure to watch the department’s “Top Ten” now showing on WYCG-TV and available here. This year’s focus is on cooking safety – “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”  Remember, in an emergency, always dial 9-1-1. 

CDC Recommends Alternative Activities this Halloween

  • The CDC has released a list of Halloween activities for families to enjoy while staying safe during COVID-19.  Among these are alternatives or modifications to trick-or-treating.  In York County, we recognize that individuals will choose to continue the door-to-door tradition and ask that they incorporate additional safety behaviors, such as incorporating a cloth mask into their child’s costume, using hand sanitizer during trick-or-treating, and stay six feet away from others not a resident of your home. For those who choose to participate, we recommend children ages 12 and under be allowed to trick-or-treat from 6 to 8 p.m.  For more details, please view the press release issued earlier this week. 

Learn to Manage Diabetes at Senior Center of York Workshop

  • York County is holding its Diabetes Self-Management Workshop with social distancing on Tuesdays - October 20-November 24 - from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Senior Center (5314 George Washington Memorial Highway). This free program provides you with skills and materials to help with the day-to-day management of diabetes. Preventing complications, menu planning, monitoring blood sugar levels, stress, exercise and relaxation are just a few of the topics that will be covered. Register online or by calling the Senior Center at (757) 890-3444. Deadline to register is October 16. 

S’mores and Spooky Stories by the Fire at New Quarter Park October 17

  • Professional Storyteller Anthony Burcher paints vivid scenes of far off places and adventures as he weaves his web of bizarre folk tales and the occasional spooky story. Join Mr. Burcher on Saturday, October 17, from 6 to 6:30 p.m. at the fire circle at New Quarter Park, 1000 Lakeshead Drive, upper York County. Registration is required by October 15 for this free event. Space is limited due to social distancing requirements, so register early. For more information or to register, visit the Parks and Recreation website. 

Historic Yorktown County Offices Reopen to the Public

  • More County offices have reopened to the public, including the Finance Building, Tourism Development, and County Administration – all located in Historic Yorktown. Along with the reopening comes the relocation of Human Resources to the County Administration Building at 224 Ballard Street.  The Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office will be open by appointment only beginning October 15.  Operating hours and directions to offices are available online. 

Board of Supervisors Next Meeting is October 6

  • The Board of Supervisors meeting – a work session – will be a virtual session.  No public comments are taken during work sessions. The agenda is available to view/print.  Meetings are aired live on WYCG-TV (Cox 46, Verizon 38) and live-streamed online.