Town Crier Articles

Posted on March 1, 2024 7:00 AM by Eden Glenn
 
There are many reasons New Town is a special place to live.  What makes it special may vary from neighbor to neighbor, but most would agree, we are all fortunate to live here.  Feeling grateful is one reason the Women’s Monthly Lunch Group supports a Giving Back Initiative for the purpose of sharing some of our resources to benefit the greater Williamsburg community.  Last year the lunch group and others donated classroom supplies to the JCC/Williamsburg Teacher Supply Closet and winter coats to FISH and House of Mercy to distribute to those in need.
 
Now in 2024, the Giving Back Initiative is conducting a food drive during the months of February and March.  FISH and House of Mercy are both in urgent need of food items during this time of year when donations typically drop off. In the United States, over 44 million people, including 13 million children, at some point in the year don’t have enough to eat and don’t know where their next meal will come from.  Williamsburg is not immune from this problem. In 2023, FISH and House of Mercy provided, through their respective food pantries, the equivalent of over 400,000 meals.  Food insecurity is a growing problem in our community. FISH, for example, reported an 80% increase in food requests over the past year.
 
Please help us help others by bringing healthy, non-perishable food items to:
  • the NTRA meeting space located at 5118 Center Street between 11AM-1PM on either March 1st or 2nd,
or
  • bring your donation to the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30 at 2PM at Lydias Park in Abbey Commons
Items most needed are canned soups, vegetables, fruits and protein (chicken, tuna), applesauce, dry spaghetti and canned sauce, boxed macaroni and cheese, cereals & oatmeal, rice, instant potatoes, and peanut butter and jelly (no glass jars please).
 
The Giving Back Initiative plans to donate school supplies to local teachers again this summer and collect 100 new winter coats for kids in 100 days later this fall. Thank you, New Town, for generously supporting these efforts.
Posted on March 1, 2024 6:50 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
 
 
Come join the Easter Bunny for an Easter egg hunt and games!
 
The New Town Residential Association Activities Committee will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt in Lydias Park (Abbey Commons - at corner of Lydias and Town Creek) on Saturday, March 30th, with a March 31st rain date.  The festivities begin at 2.00 PM.
 
The Easter Bunny will be there to join in the fun and provide a photo opportunity. There will be an egg hunt where the younger children (up to age 4) will go first and then will be joined by the older children (5 and up). Games and prizes will follow the egg hunts.  All New Town residents, families and friends are invited. Even if you do not have kids or grandkids, that’s ok, come join in the fun!
 
If you are interested, collection boxes will be available for your donations of non-perishable food items to help stock the food pantries at FISH and House of Mercy.
 
RSVP:  Please let us know if you plan to attend and the ages of your children. Email:  Susan Schlimme at  skschlimme@hotmail.com
Posted on March 1, 2024 6:50 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
On Sunday, February 25, fifty-five New Town neighbors cheered on the William and Mary women’s basketball team facing the lady Pirates of Hampton University at Kaplan Arena. New Towners were part of a large lively crowd supporting the Play4Kay cancer fund raiser which honors female survivors of all cancers that affect women. Tribe Mary players shed their traditional dark green for pink uniforms while the Hampton University team sported pink shoes.
     
The afternoon began with a pre-game pizza party at the arena where attendees won gift certificates and a team-signed basketball. William and Mary Assistant Coach Kenia Cole, who previously coached at Hampton, welcomed the New Town fans. She confided that she expected an especially exciting game since Hampton’s top scorer and all conference player, forward Nylah Young, had transferred this year to William and Mary.  
     
Young and her teammates certainly did not disappoint their New Town fans.  The game itself proved to be a cliffhanger with the Tribe pulling out a 66-58 victory largely from the foul line in the 4th quarter.
 
Excitement reigned all afternoon - thanks to our Activities Committee volunteers it was rewarding fun for all! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted on March 1, 2024 6:40 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
Posted on February 1, 2024 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
 
February is “Responsible Pet Owners Month”. So, let’s remind everyone what it means to be a neighborly and responsible pet owner in New Town. Keeping your pet healthy and happy is important. Equally important is controlling your pet’s behavior in a responsible manner. Be considerate of those living around you.
 
Always clean up after your pet - Your yard should not be filled with your pet's waste, nor should you neglect to pick up after your animal when going on walks around the neighborhood. Pet waste stations are available throughout New Town with disposable bags. Use them and encourage other pet owners to do the same with a gentle reminder pointing to the nearest area. Steer your dog to the mulched areas in our common spaces to urinate when possible. Thank those you see following the rules!
 
Leash your dog – Dogs and cats are naturally curious, so try to control where they explore and most importantly where they “do their business.”  Would you want your landscape damaged?  Recently, the Association received this complaint:
 
"I find that some pet owners are letting their pets relieve themselves in the bushes outside of my garage and the bushes near my front door. Fortunately some pets that the owner let come up to my front door didn't relieve themselves on my doorstep. Please if there's any way to remind pet owners to respect property owners property, please send out a request to all."
 
And another example:
"We have a neighbor who …repeatedly takes her dog outside off leash and does not pick up its feces. Last night, she let her dog out at the same time as us (with our dog) and her dog chased us down the alleyway barking and circling us, scaring us and our dog."
 
Do I know your dog?  Always seek permission from another dog owner before allowing dogs to "meet" while passing on the sidewalk.  Some dogs are anxious, older or more fearful and a more reserved approach is warranted. 
 
New Town loves its pets, but they can damage property if not managed responsibly. Pet droppings, noise, unleashed dogs, etc.-all of these situations are addressed in the NTRA Master Declaration (Section 7.1(x)) and Rules (Section 11.1 – Animals).  New Town pet owners should familiarize themselves with these requirements including those for use of the common areas (sidewalks, parks, alleys, etc.) in New Town. Report problems to our management company, Chesapeake Bay Management. Repeated violations are subject to fines including any poor pet management from tenants to NTRA owners. 
 
In the spirit of being good pet neighbors (minimizing complaints and possible penalties), share this article with neighbors or dog owners especially tenants who may not be up to date on our rules. Print it and pass it around!
 
Posted on February 1, 2024 6:45 AM by NTRA Emergency Preparedness Committee
 
The first step you can take to prepare for a potential emergency is to keep yourself informed.  One way you can do this is to sign-up for JCC Alert.  
 
JCC Alert is a system through which you are informed of imminent threats to health and safety as well as informational notifications that affect your locations or work environments.  
 
System administrators will send notifications regarding severe weather, flooding, water outages, and more.
JCC Alert emergency notification calls will show as 757-564-2165 on your caller ID and emergency.management@jamescitycountyva.gov in your e-mail. 
 
For additional information and to sign-up for JCC Alert go to https://www.jccalert.org/.
Posted on February 1, 2024 6:42 AM by Eden Glenn
 
Last year a group of New Town women organized several initiatives to “give back” to our James City County/Williamsburg community. Through residents' generous donations many bags of school supplies and more than 50 children’s winter coats were donated and provided to people in need. Thank you!
 
For the first quarter of this year, we will be holding a food drive -“Fill the Shelves”- to benefit those in need. Perhaps you saw the recent Virginia Gazette article outlining the challenges for those who are housed in locations without kitchens or appliances. https://www.dailypress.com/2024/01/24/helping-hands-volunteers-make-sure-meals-get-to-those-in-need/  It highlighted the reality of poverty in our area: “18.6% of people in Williamsburg are living in poverty, far exceeding Virginia’s statewide average of 10.6%.”  
 
 
Any collected non-perishable food will be donated to the House of Mercy and FISH for distribution. While all donations are appreciated, canned or packaged meat and fish (or other items providing protein) and grains (rice, cereals) are especially needed. We hope to have collection boxes accessible soon, but in the meantime, if you would like to contribute, contact Eden: edenaglenn@gmail.com or Gale: ladyhappy73@gmail.com.
 
Posted on February 1, 2024 6:40 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
 
On December 7th, New Towners started the holiday season at the second Holiday Bake-Off and Dessert Fest. They were greeted in the Legacy Hall lobby with a brightly decorated Christmas tree, and tables featuring holiday center pieces filled the room. The first part of the event was a juried baking contest with three categories:  cakes and cupcakes; cookies and bars, and a new youth category. 
 
Six New Town residents enjoyed serving as judges. About 70 attendees of all ages enjoyed watching the judging and applauded the winners.  
   
The second part of the event was the Dessert Fest during which New Towners got their sugar high tasting delicious samples from the Bake-Off’s submissions and also a wide array of other desserts from local bakeries. Sipping on coffee and tea, residents savored their desserts as they enjoyed conversation with tablemates and holiday music provided by Rick Richards.  
   
Just a few of the tasty entrants:
 
Intrepid judges table:
 
 
Here are our 2023 winners! In the cakes category, the first place winner was Brandy Scifres, second place was Craig Mervine, and third place was Tracy Waible.  In the cookie category, the first place winner was Brandy Scifres,  second place was Angela Lesnett, and third place was Anne Mapp. 
 
             
 
In the youth category, the first place winner was Vivian Waible, who was super excited about being selected, second place Ellie Liscastro, and third place was a tie between Anouk Mapp and Mathew Hale. All who placed were awarded with ribbons and first place winners won gift certificates, compliments of the New Town Commercial Association.  
 
 
For Brandy Scifres, who certainly demonstrated her baking skills, “the Holiday Dessert Fest and Bake Off was such a cool event that brings the community together.”  She also thanked the HOA volunteers for all the effort they put into hosting the gathering, observing that "they do this for free so that everyone can enjoy a little sweetness in December, what a beautiful gift!” All participants agreed that it was a sweet and fun event.
 
Posted on December 1, 2023 6:45 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
 
 
Join us for a Holiday Dessert Festival & Bake Off at Legacy Hall, Thursday, December 7, 6:00-8:00.  This event, which will help kick off the holiday season in New Town, includes a Bake Off and a Dessert Festival.  
 
The New Town Residential Association Activities Committee is seeking New Towners interested in competing in a baking contest featuring both holiday and non-holiday desserts. You don't need to be an outstanding baker to enter, just someone who enjoys baking.  On December 7 at Legacy Hall, Bake-Off participants will present their baked goods in three categories: bars/cookies and cakes/cupcakes, and a NEW youth category (bars/cookies/confectionary). New Town resident judges will pick winners, who will receive gift certificates.
 
New Towners who want to serve as judges or bake-off contestants need to pre-register on the NTRA website by tomorrow, December 2nd.
 
The entire community is invited to the Dessert Festival, where residents will have the opportunity to taste samples of the submitted baked goods as well as desserts from local bakeries. Coffee, tea and water will be provided in addition to the desserts, and there will be seating for attendees to relax with neighbors and new friends and enjoy the goodies. No registration is required to attend and sample! 
 
We look forward to another opportunity to gather with neighbors!  Remember, if you want to be a bake-off contestant or judge, make sure to register!
 
P.S. There will be a box at this event to collect any final donations for the Coats 4 Kids campaign (see related Crier story).
Posted on December 1, 2023 6:45 AM by Eden Glenn
As winter approaches and the temperature drops, 53 children in the Williamsburg area will have new winter coats to keep them warm thanks to the generosity of New Town residents.  Since October, a group of New Town neighbors has collected new and like-new coats for children of all ages who are in need.  
 
How much need is there in our greater Williamsburg community? The poverty rates in the city of Williamsburg and James City County are 15% and 7%, respectively. This translates to nearly 8,000 individuals, many of whom are children. Recognizing this need, several New Town neighbors initiated Coats 4 Kids.  
 
Recently, an initial batch of donated coats was delivered to Williamsburg House of Mercy and FISH, Inc.  These organizations were selected because of their respective missions and their capability of distributing coats to those most in need.  Williamsburg House of Mercy (https://williamsburghouseofmercy.org) provides supportive and emergency services to individuals experiencing homelessness as well as to those vulnerable individuals struggling to maintain housing.  FISH, Inc. (https://fishwilliamsburg.org) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that maintains a Food Pantry and a Clothes Closet that serve area families in need.
 
   
 
Both of these organizations were very appreciative of the coats donated through our Coats 4 Kids initiative.  Individual donations of food and clothing are also much appreciated throughout the year.  Additionally, there are opportunities at each organization for interested individuals to volunteer their time and talents. Please visit their websites for more information.
 
Thank you to everyone who contributed to Coats 4 Kids.  The final opportunity for New Town neighbors to make a coat donation will be at the December 7th New Town Dessert Fest.  If you are unable to attend this event, but still wish to donate a new or like-new coat, you can make other arrangements by contacting Gale Hyatt (ladyhappy73@gmail.com) or Eden Glenn (edenaglenn@gmail.com.)  
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