Town Crier Articles

Posted on July 1, 2024 6:57 AM by Eden Glenn
New Town residents have BIG hearts. Over the past year, we have donated school supplies, kids’ winter coats, and non-perishable food. Now, starting in July, New Town will be joining other Williamsburg neighborhoods such as Holly Hills and Rolling Woods, in a monthly neighborhood food drive through an organization called PORCH. The process is simple; you put non-perishable food items on your porch by 9AM the second Saturday of each month and volunteers will pick them up. Our donations will be delivered, along with those from other participating PORCH neighborhoods to the food pantries at Williamsburg House of Mercy and FISH.
That’s it! You may donate monthly or whenever you are able. More information can be found here.
If you would like to participate or have questions, please send an email to Gale Hyatt ( or Eden Glenn (  
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:56 AM by Scott Ellis
DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen, opened at 5131Main St. several months ago and is locally owned by Mr. Yusuf Atay. Yusuf is a native of Turkey, and after studying engineering in Germany and London he won the DV Lottery program, which is a program that gives a chance for permanent residency in the USA. Yusuf came to the US and began to utilize his training and talents in engineering. But he strongly felt the desire to be part of helping homeowners improve their lives through remodeling their homes. 
He has achieved his Class A contractor license and has helped design and remodel homes for himself and clients. Through the process of helping others, Yusuf explored ways to bring his desire to see home improvements from the design stage through to finished stage while maintaining integrity and listening to his clients. He decided to become a franchise owner for Dream Maker in late 2023 and soon after started setting up a showroom in New Town. DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen is part of a national franchise that recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. There are 45 franchise locations throughout the USA. 
I met with Yusuf and his office manager, Karissa Bartee to hear more about what Dream Maker offers and how they manage the business. 
The design center at 5131 Main Street is open M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm/Saturday by appointment/Sunday – closed. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure full attention. Karissa was quick to return my call when I left a message with her regarding a meeting. The design center is still a work in progress, but there are some beautiful tiles on display and several different cabinet models. Over the next few months, the center will be completed, and a grand opening is planned for later this summer. The design center will have room setups on display, as well as various lighting fixtures, cabinetry, sinks and faucets. One area that will certainly gather interest when completed is the walk-in tub arrangement. These have become more popular as society ages. 
Yusuf chose New Town as he is a Williamsburg resident and New Town and the surrounding area is a target demographic for remodels – especially in bath and kitchen. While the design center is taking shape, Yusuf and his crew are busy at work designing and remodeling kitchens and baths locally. There is a designer on staff and a handful of employees as well. Yusuf works with tradesmen in the area who are highly rated and skilled at installation.  
When I asked Yusuf his greatest desire as a business owner, he was very open. He said most people come to him already knowing what they want. They’ve obviously watched the home remodel shows, visited friends’ homes and want help finding the right suppliers and helpful suggestions. What Yusuf and his team want to offer is a local owned business focused on helping people realize their dream kitchen or bath – while ensuring functionality and integrity. He and Karissa were quick to point out the DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen “Code of Values” bookmark and their slogan “Enhancing Lives. Improving Homes”. I was very impressed with the code of values bookmark and the earnestness of Yusuf as we discussed life in Williamsburg and discovered we had a mutual friend. I’m looking forward to the grand opening of the design center and hearing some of the examples of Yusuf and his team improving homes in Williamsburg and New Town.     
Here's a link to their Facebook page and contact info. 
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:55 AM by David Carter
For probably seven or eight years the common area in Charlotte Park between Lucretia Way and Christine Court remained what our lawn crews often referred to as " the field." Well not anymore! Homeowner, Bob Dennis, approached the Board of Directors about the "field" in March and then in April, fellow neighbor David Carter joined Bob for the April Board Meeting where together they proposed a landscape plan for the common area.
Unlike other neighborhoods, this area was never landscaped, and so after receiving the green light the two neighbors approached Mike Turkovitch of Berkley Design Group in Williamsburg to execute the installation of trees and perennials. Two benches were sourced, refinished and stained by Bob, while David planned the area for the trees and flower bed. Jack Espinal then submitted the plans to James City County for approval.
The plan included Redbud Trees, a Virginia native species which are heat tolerant, and attract bees and butterflies with spring and fall color. The two men then purchased plant material and set them out for installation. Once the trees arrived after several weeks waiting for them, Mike and his excellent crew began the installation, and in about 5 hours or so, a field no more. Neighbors are very happy with the new trees and plantings, and look forward to enjoying another one of New Town's beautiful common areas.
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:47 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
Calling all parents of infants/toddlers!
The Activities Committee is considering facilitating a weekly Infant-Toddler Play Group (under 4 yrs old) to enable parents and other care-givers to socialize and share ideas while kids have a chance to play together. We will hold an initial meeting with kids and parents at the NTRA Meeting Room at a time that is convenient for the most people, if there is enough interest.
If you are interested in participating or wish more information, please email or text Liz Fones-Wolf of the Activities Committee at with your contact info and the days and times of the week you are available for the first meeting, kids welcome, presumably not during early afternoon naptime.
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:45 AM by David Carter
Personally, our two felines are indoor only, except for the screened porch, which they enjoy year round watching, birds, bunnies, squirrels and the occasional other wildlife, like foxes, possums, snakes, and other critters who live here among us in New Town.

Letting cats roam outdoors unsupervised might sound ok, but it’s actually a risky business. The Nextdoor App is frequently full of news about cats gone missing. Unsupervised cats face a slew of dangers—from getting hit by cars to encountering unfriendly wildlife or other territorial cats. They might also catch diseases, get injured, or sadly go missing. Additionally, their natural hunting instincts can wreak havoc on local wildlife, turning your fluffy friend into a feathered fiend for birds and small mammals. I have witnessed this by a beautiful cat who often is let outdoors, and who also occasionally uses our mulch bed as a litter box! Not nice. Bad girl! 
To keep cats safe and the neighborhood wildlife intact, it’s best to keep them indoors ensuring everyone stays happy and healthy!
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:40 AM by David Carter
Soon there will be signs along the trails in New Town pointing the way to and from our neighborhoods and commemoratives for the developer of New Town, Larry Salzman. A big thank you to Bob Dennis who is using cedar wood for the signs and routing and painting all of the lettering on each and every sign which will make nice additions to our community.
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:40 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
New Town Pool Volleyball starts today - Monday, July 1.  The NTRA Activities Committee is sponsoring Family Pool Volleyball using a light ball on Monday evenings between 6:00  and 7:30pm.  Everyone, from kids to seniors, is invited to play and no experience or swimming skills are necessary. Come and join the fun!  
Any questions, contact Liz Fones-Wolf at
Posted on June 1, 2024 6:52 AM by Scott Ellis
Zoom Room (5129 Main Street) is a nationally franchised training center for people and their pets. The focus of each Zoom Room is on positive reinforcement for dogs to help them with socializing, agility and obedience. 
New Town Zoom Room owner, Tamara Lembke got involved with Zoom Room about a year and a half ago. Her background in marketing combined with her experience training animals at SeaWorld Orlando was a key motivator for her opening the local center. She chose Zoom Room especially due to the focus on positive feedback to the animals and their owners. There is no “bad dog” shouted at the pets and no use of shock collars or other negative training methods. 
Every Zoom Room employee must undergo a minimum of 40 hours of offsite training conducted by the national headquarters. Consistency in employee training and methodology is key to ensuring that every dog and owner are made to feel special.
Tamara and her family (husband, four children and two dogs) are Williamsburg transplants and consider themselves permanent residents. They love the feel of Williamsburg, the kindness of the folks who call Williamsburg home and how good it feels to raise their family here. 
Zoom Room is open seven days per week and currently has five employees. Since it’s part of a respected franchise (with over 64 locations in the USA) consistency is key. Each Zoom Room franchise is decorated the same, uses the same training equipment, the same training methods and offer the same items for sale. Training gear, toys, treat, beds, bowls, collars and leashes are all available for purchase. Some of the treats had very interesting names; Peanut butter Himalayan chew and Bacon Himalayan chew are a few examples. 
Every dog that comes into Zoom Room must be on a leash and dogs are not permitted to engage socially face to face. All dogs must have up to date vaccinations and special puppy classes are held on weekend mornings for the very young pups. In order to ensure cleanliness the entire room is cleaned, swept and mopped every night. 
Puppy programs start at eight weeks. Puppy Plus programs start at four months. Puppy agility classes start at five months of age and adult dog agility class starts at eight months of age.  When I inquired as to why agility training is needed for pups and young dogs, Tamara said it helps especially with dogs that are shy and those that might be coming from pasts that may have had issues. Training and education are key to help owners know how their dogs are growing mentally.   
While I was talking with Tamara, I watched as Rachel, one of the trainers conducted a class for four dogs. Each dog and owner were at corners of the room and were being coached through several exercises. As part of the training, I watched as Rachel went around the room past each dog with a pair of crutches, gently tapping the crutches on the floor as she walked around. One young dog stood at the edge of his training mat and then sat quietly as Rachel passed by. All the while the puppy was given positive encouragement by the owner and Rachel. She did the same with a walker. It was wonderful to observe, something I would not have thought of – using crutches and walkers as training aids. Tamara pointed out that part of the training uses different sounds, different items – all to help install calmness into each dog for as many situations as possible. 
I asked Tamara and Rachel what their favorite dogs were to train. Rachel quickly replied, “rescue dogs and service dogs” and Tamara said she loved the puppies. As we discussed various breeds of dogs Tamara noted that retriever pups need training as early as possible. They love to chew on things! As an owner several times of golden retrievers I can heartily concur and wish we had a chance to have our goldens, Pepsi and Ruff trained when they were young. Would have saved us chewed brake lines, air conditioning wiring (low voltage thank goodness) and a kid’s pool that had a hole chewed in it the very first day we set it up! 
When asked about special memories of a dog they helped train they both laughed and said the same thing. A 219-pound mastiff. “Wow” was all I could say. 
The energy and positivity of Tamara and Rachel and their love for animals was clear. I certainly gained a lot of admiration for how they train the dogs and owners and as a New Town resident who walks frequently, I can only hope that many of the cute puppies and dogs my wife and I encounter daily have been trained at Zoom Room.   
Posted on June 1, 2024 6:45 AM by Scott Ellis
Categories: General
Six years ago, churches and other organizations in the James City County, Williamsburg and Bruton district of York county came together, along with the Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels and the Lions Club, to find a way to prepare and deliver lunches to school age children in the summer when those kids were not able to receive the free lunches provided while schools are in session.  Per Catherine S. Upton, CEO of Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels, 
“Summer break, a time that should be filled with laughter, joy and exploration, poses a significant challenge for numerous vulnerable children and their families. For many of these young children, school provides a lifeline – a source of nutrition and stability that is abruptly severed when the final bell rings. Sadly, this interruption leaves them vulnerable to hunger, malnutrition, and its devastating consequences.” 
Last summer, volunteers from eleven local churches, a William and Mary fraternity and several faith-based organizations met daily at Williamsburg Indoor Soccer Complex (WISC) in the Good Food Provisions Cafe to prepare meals for delivery to approximately 300 children each Monday through Friday. Volunteers gather to make sandwiches and package them along with individual juice boxes, pudding cups, applesauce and treats such as granola bars, crackers, chips and home baked cookies or brownies (no nuts permitted). Once the meals are packed, volunteers from the local area Lions Club deliver the meals to local apartment complexes and hotels where kids in need and their families live. 
Fast forward to June 17, 2024. The number of kids signed up to be a part of this year's
Summer Meals program has increased to  468! Obviously, this means much more donation of food and funds as well as more volunteers are needed to help prepare the sandwiches and pack lunches. My wife and I have several friends who have volunteered the past few years to help prepare the lunches and were so moved by the community's generosity of time and funding that we felt compelled to join them this summer. We look forward to gathering with folks we may or may not know but have a common goal – making sure kids have a lunch every weekday! 
The approximate cost for one meal is between $1.80 and $2.20. Sandwich items (bread, meat, cheese, mayo and when available fresh fruits) are sourced through Meals on Wheels. Other food items are donated, and several churches hold food drives specifically for these items. Funding for the same 300 kids as last year will require approximately $33,000 and for 468 kids the amount increases to just over $51,000. All funding is through donations and fundraising drives by the local churches and the local Meals on Wheels. Food costs can be reduced if enough donations are received in the form of individual drink boxes, snacks, etc.
If you are interested in making food donations there are several churches holding food drives over the coming weeks. They are: 
  • King of Glory Lutheran ChurchSunday June 2 - 7:30a.m. – 12:00 noon
    4897 Longhill Rd. Williamsburg 23188
  • St. Martins Episcopal Church – Sunday June 16 - 7:30a.m. - 11:30a.m. 
    1333 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg 23185
  • Williamsburg United Methodist Church - Sunday July 14 - 8:00a.m. - 12:00 noon
    500 Jamestown Rd. Williamsburg 23185
    Williamsburg Community Chapel – Every day through August 16th
    3899 John Tyler Hwy. Williamsburg 23185
  • DayBreak Church – Daily throughout the summer
    Call – 757-725-1691
If you are interested in helping ensure kids in our schools have a nutritional lunch every weekday this summer, you can help by donating funds through or by mailing checks to: Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 709, Williamsburg VA 23187. 
Posted on May 1, 2024 6:55 AM by NTRA Emergency Preparedness Committee
Flooding may result from a variety of causes to include overflowing waterways, dam failures, heavy rains, or clogged storm drains. Further, per the National Center for Environmental Information “Ninety percent of all natural disasters involve flooding.”
For many reasons and also because a single inch of flood water can cause $27,000 in damage to a home, it’s important to take steps in advance of a flood to mitigate any possible damage.  
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has some suggestions in this regard:
  • Know your area’s type of flood risk.  Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center at for information.    
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system.  The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and provide emergency alerts.  Register for Williamsburg JCC Alerts at
  • Learn and practice evacuation routes and shelter plans, and flash flood response.  
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or if services are cut off.  Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medications.  Don’t forget the needs of pets.  Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.  
  • Obtain flood insurance.  Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding.  If you need help finding a provider, go to or call the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) at 877-336-2627 or your home insurance agent or a private insurance provider.  
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container.  Create password-protected digital copies. 
  • Protect your property.  Move valued items to higher levels.  Declutter drains and gutters.  Install check valves.  Consider a sump pump with a battery.    
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