Town Crier Articles

Posted on February 1, 2020 7:00 AM by June Dawkins
Categories: Life in New Town
Recent articles have delved into the history of Roper Park and reported on why New Town’s newest neighborhood is called Shirley Park. For others living here, how many of you have wondered how your street, as well as the common areas and neighborhoods of New Town, got their names? 
 
According to Robert Casey and his son in law, Town Management President Randy Casey-Rutland, who provided the details for this article, some of the street names and locations were chosen to recognize the people who were instrumental in founding the New Town community. Casey Boulevard is a major entry.  Joe Stettinius, Larry Salzman, active managing Board Member, and John McCann all will have streets bearing their names in Shirley Park.  Stettinius was one of the founding New Town visionaries and advisors. McCann was for many years the CEO of New Town Associates, which developed New Town. Stettinius and McCann are no longer living, but Salzman continues his role in leadership, which he has done since New Town’s inception.  Sullivan Square behind Legacy Hall is named for Tim Sullivan, the 25th president of the College of William and Mary. The College is a partner in New Town Associates. There are plans for a marker in Pecan Square at the Ironbound entrance to be dedicated to Robert’s father, Carlton Coleman Casey, the father of Robert and his brothers Carleton and Lewis. The family land formed the majority of New Town.
 
Robert says other names were chosen to recognize Casey family members. Most of these are streets in Charlotte Park. Do you live on Elizabeth Davis Boulevard?  She was Robert Casey’s grandmother and Ercil was Lewis’ wife.  Lucretia Way is named for Robert’s and his brothers’ great aunt, the Olive of Olive Drive was their mother, and their great grandmother was a Rollison.
 
In naming the streets in other neighborhoods, except Village Walk and Settlers Market, where names were chosen by their builders, Helen was chosen because it is the name of more than one family member. Luanne is a cousin, but the actual spelling differs.  All potential street names must be submitted to and approved by James City County. If a name is too similar to one in existence, it needs to be modified, as was the case here.
 
Most of the other street names in New Town are female. These and the neighborhood names, like Savannah Square and Chelsea Green, and were chosen because they were of British origin in recognition of the Williamsburg area’s colonial past. So, if you live on Shannons or Lydias, Brittany, Beverly or Marthas, your street was meant to evoke a sense of history, rather than to serve as a tribute to a specific person, although there certainly were plenty of real Marthas in colonial Virginia.
And what about Victoria’s Way?  Is it a secret? No, it was named for the queen!
Posted on February 1, 2020 7:00 AM by June Dawkins
Categories: Life in New Town
The New Town Architectural Review Board (ARB) and Residential Advisory Board (RAB) have approved an application by the Book Clubs of New Town to install a Little Library in the Residential section of our community.  The concept is that a resident can contribute a book to pass on and another resident can take it and/or put in a book of their own.  Books that fit in the box for all reading levels will be accepted.
 
The first Little Library was put up in Hudson, WI in 2009.  This one library grew into the Little Free Library organization, a non-profit with more than 90,000 libraries in 91 countries by August of 2019. They sell kits for organizations that do not want to construct their own.  Many more such libraries have been erected individually by homeowners and communities.  The New Town Commercial section currently has a one in the parking lot behind Iron Bound Gym.
 
The new Little Library will be installed on the Elizabeth Davis Boulevard green across from the other Residential amenities, the Pool and the Playground in Charlotte Park, so as not to encroach on individual property or VDOT street strips.  The design will be consistent with the architectural standards of surrounding homes. It is being sponsored by the members of the Book Clubs and constructed and installed by volunteers.   
 
Keep up with the Crier, as progress is reported in the coming months.
Posted on February 1, 2020 7:00 AM by Kathy Mullins
This is a milestone year for the New Town Residential Association (NTRA).  On April 1, the developer-controlled Board of Directors (BOD) will relinquish authority and responsibility for governance of this community and a homeowner-controlled BOD will be elected.
 
Now what?  If any NTRA member does not know what this Transition Period entails, please read John Marston’s clear and concise summary Recruiting New NTRA Board of Directors
 
This transition period is a very important time.  The work to audit documents, review status and recommend action, continues. One of the most critical tasks is recruiting qualified homeowners to serve on the new BOD; another, seeking additional volunteers for openings on all committees, including those newly formed.
 
Qualification
Two residents, Lisa Trichel-Beavers and Bill Voliva, who formerly served on the RAB shared their experiences. 
 
Lisa had never lived in an HOA community before becoming an early resident of Chelsea Green. “It was around 2011 when John Wright talked to me about getting involved.  I knew that as a homeowner I should know more about HOAs. Serving on the RAB might be a good way to learn. So I pulled out the HOA docs and started reading,” she said, and added, “Everyone should do that – they explain a lot.”During her time on the RAB, Lisa says, she learned a great deal, but asked so many questions. “Too many, I thought.  But then, other RAB members told me that my questions helped them look at issues from a different perspective.”
 
When Bill Voliva accepted a position on the RAB, he brought with him a great deal of experience. Before moving to Charlotte Park he was an executive manager at Kings Mill, a large, complex community. “I’ve had these responsibilities before, so I knew what I wanted to do as an RAB member.”
 
“Some people think they don’t have the right skills to be on an HOA board. There is not any one resume or set of credentials that mark an ideal BOD candidate. There are many ways to be an asset. One member may be a financial genius; while another is a speedy note-taker who can draft minutes within minutes of leaving the meeting.  Having an appealing personality and the ability to engage another person in a frank, but fruitful discussion of issues, is a valuable quality that is sometimes overlooked,” according to Bill. “Right now we need to have as many people as possible become involved in various ways in running New Town, from its governance to its social activities.  That would be one of the strongest links that we could have as we transition to managing our own community,” he asserted.
 
When the BOD was initially devising committees to carry out some of the management work, Lisa was part of an energetic campaign to recruit volunteers.  From the beginning, according to Lisa, the BOD wanted a broad representation of residents and neighborhoods on the NTRA committees.
 
“Quite a few of us went out two by two and knocked on doors to make sure everyone knew what efforts were underway and what kind of help was needed. It was a great way to enlist people,” Lisa recalled.  “We also held open meetings to discuss issues like those involved with building the community pool. Homeowners were encouraged to plan neighborhood events that would bring people together.  Chelsea Green had great picnics with games for the kids. It was fun and we got to know each other.  This would be a good time to do more of that.”
 
Lisa still uses every opportunity to sound out newcomers about their interests and skills, and persuade them of the rewards of volunteering.  Upon learning that one young father she spoke to had agreed to serve on the RAB, she called him to offer babysitting services during meetings, should he need help.  “It’s hard for parents to free up time for committee responsibilities, especially meetings — I thought babysitting might help,” she said, “and, I was really glad he stepped up.”
 
The Board’s decision in 2010 to create a Residential Advisory Board (RAB) proved to be an excellent step. The RAB has been able to foster communication throughout the neighborhoods, cultivate leadership and encourage greater involvement of NTRA members. In some ways the RAB actually served as an unplanned training ground for BOD service.  But the RAB can only make recommendations; the BOD has the responsibility and the authority to make decisions.
 
“What I encourage people to do if they have any thoughts of putting themselves forward for BOD consideration, is to come and sit through a meeting.  By simply watching the action that takes place they’ll learn what it is like to participate. Sitting there will also help that individual determine whether being on the BOD is something he or she wants to do, . . . or not,”  Bill suggested.
 
He usually advises a community member who is interested in “getting started” with some type of involvement, to begin with one of the NTRA Committees. For someone who really enjoys gardening, the Landscape Committee would be a natural choice. “It’s an easier way to get comfortable with the process and learn how to work in concert with others,” Bill explained. “While committees are focused on projects or issues, the BOD is all encompassing.  You can’t just think about part of the agenda.  You have to care about all of it.”
 
Lisa and Bill, who have both remained active in the community, recognize that when homeowners are part of the process, they start to take ownership of the community and become invested in working out solutions to problems. There are many other personal benefits: new friends, better grasp of issues, being in the know.  Best of all, it is very rewarding to help make changes and work towards solutions. 
 
Motivation
One of the main responsibilities of the BOD is to protect property values and maintain a sound community. For some NTRA members, this might be the main reason to step up as a BOD nominee. Others, remembering what caused them to buy a home here in the first place, may be motivated to protect the quality of life that we all enjoy. Both areas are important. 
 
Under homeowner control many changes could be proposed: for example, rules and regulations, committee size and meeting time, use of common elements that belong to all NTRA members, and more.  Members that want to have input in certain areas, should get involved soon with the committees and boards concerned. There will be important meetings to update NTRA members and help everyone understand issues as they arise. Be sure to attend and listen. 
 
What we can all do is:  Get informed (read the Docs, Committee minutes, Crier articles); Attend meetings (BOD, RAB, Transition or other Presentations); Persuade capable people to serve; Volunteer to serve in some capacity.  Or  maybe,  .  .  . offer to babysit?
Posted on February 1, 2020 7:00 AM by Patti Vaticano
Categories: Life in New Town
For those of you who share your home and lives with the four-footed, furred, feathered, or finned and recognize the importance of animal companionship—and, in particular, how your own roomie enriches your life--please consider sharing their photo and a brief profile with your New Town neighbors.  It will enrich our community, and, hopefully, help forward the cause for animal ownership and adoption.   So many animals need homes; so many people have space and love to give. Please submit your photo and bio by February 21st for inclusion in our March publication.  Grab that 15 minutes of fame for your little guy or gal!
 
 
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. –Anatole France
Posted on January 3, 2020 3:02 PM by Town Crier Staff
Categories: Life in New Town
 
               Neal Witherspoon organizes the Charlotte Park Christmas Carolers on December 23, 2019
 
 
       The Charlotte Park Christmas Carolers in performance.  Prior to caroling, the group lit luminaries that staid lit through December 27.
 
Posted on December 1, 2019 7:00 AM by Town Crier Staff
Categories: Life in New Town
 
And watch for events in New Town like Carol - oke and Cocoa on Fridays in December and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
 
 
 
Thanksgiving weekend in front of the Regal Cinema
 
 
Posted on December 1, 2019 7:00 AM by Tom Nichols, Chair, Preparedness
Categories: Life in New Town
We all look forward to the Holiday Season to be with families and friends. We will be attending Parties, Dinners, Local Events plus seeing the Decorations in New Town and on Duke of Gloucester street in Williamsburg. We have been fortunate that we have had no disasters in our area that affected New Town this year. Even with no area disasters, we need to be prepared for personal disasters.
 
Weather and Personal Disasters
 
We have just entered the Freeze Season with ice, snow and freezing pipes (as some can attest with freezing back flow piping). We need to pay attention to things that could lead to personal disasters and try to prevent them: home fires, falls on ice (home steps, walkways, parking lots), vehicle accidents on ice and snow covered roads, break-ins at home and in your car, and theft of a wallet or purse plus robberies. 
 
Staying Safe
These are some of the ideas to help you enjoy the Holidays and prevent Personal Disasters:
 
Fire-Cooking - Stay with Food being Cooked. Do not leave items on a stove that will burn (boxes, candles, papers). Do not wear loose clothing while cooking to prevent the danger of clothing catching on fire. 
 
Candles-Control use of candles. Know where they are burning, keep away from Children/curtains/combustibles and pets, use only in one room at a time which you monitor.
 
Electric Wiring - Keep all decorating wiring, tree lights and power strips maintained (throw out questionable items) do not overload a circuit. Do not run wires under a rug. Do not use extension cords with Portable heaters (cord could overheat)
 
Fireplaces - Please cut it off if not being used, keep it maintained (have checked yearly), keep combustibles away from them like live Christmas trees. Make certain that your home has functioning Carbon Monoxide Detectors (one each floor)
 
Christmas trees - Real trees can catch fire easily and burn out a room in 2 minutes or less, keep trees fresh, watered, and when getting brittle or browning, Throw them away. NOTE: if a tree catches fire, CALL the Fire Department, use a proper ABC fire extinguisher on it if YOU KNOW how and at the start of a fire. A real tree can burn up in 45 seconds; Artificial trees burn slower.
 
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Change batteries yearly and test every month. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be REPLACED every 10 years since they lose sensitivity and could be slow in sounding an ALARM which could be deadly.
 
Falls on Ice- Keep walks clear of snow, use ice melt on sidewalks/steps (only use ice melt that will not damage concrete or wood steps), use Kitty Litter or Sand on steps as a back-up (does make a mess). Wear winter boots/shoes.
 
Driving-Review Winter Driving Safety. Keep Kitty litter or sand in the car to use to help you get un-stuck from ice/packed snow, have a small shovel on hand in your car. Have your CELL PHONE available, DO NOT TALK ON CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING. 
 
Break-ins- Keep doors locked (use dead bolt locks, have pins in windows, keep curtains and shades drawn at night, keep porch lights on as needed. Do not open a front door to a stranger
 
Car thefts and personal theft- Keep packages covered in a visible trunk of a SUV or back seat. Park and walk in lighted areas where you feel safe, if you sense danger, stay away. Use purses with a long strap around your body to prevent a purse snatch, use caution with wallets when you visit in crowed areas (put wallet in a safe zippered area of a coat or in the front pocket of your slacks). Stop mail and papers if away.
Posted on November 1, 2019 9:00 AM by Mary Cheston
Categories: Life in New Town
You may have noticed the feminine theme for many of the streets and parks in our community. The final section of New Town continues this trend with Shirley Park, but just who was Shirley?
 
Shirley (Wong Kit Mui*) Quan was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and immigrated to Canada as a young bride at the age of 20.  First and foremost, she was a wife and young mother but her independence led her to venture into the hospitality and culinary industry. When her husband, William, opened his first restaurant, the Golden Eagle Restaurant in Calgary, Alberta, she would, in its infancy, aid in all facets despite working full-time and maintaining a household.  She loved gardening, her daily walks and spending time outdoors, especially in and around Banff and Lake Louise. She also enjoyed being hostess to large gatherings of family and friends and would whip up 8 course meals like it was a breeze. She loved a good conversation and good debate about worldly politics. Above all, she was most proud of being a wife, mother and doting grandmother. According to her granddaughter, Samantha Forsyth, Shirley set an example as a business leader – she encouraged her three daughters (and grandchildren, two being granddaughters) at an early age to be independent, strong and confident.  She also urged them to pursue their dreams and to never have to fully rely on a spouse.
 
                                Shirley Quan and Samantha Forsyth
 
Shirley was also the beloved mother-in-law of one of the developers of New Town. Samantha’s father, Jody, and New Town developer Mike Youngblood have become the best of friends and business partners as Mike continues to develop residential phases in New Town, including Shirley Park. Although Shirley was unable to visit New Town, the progress of this venture was part of her family’s daily conversations.  When the developers were looking for a strong female presence to memorialize in New Town, honoring Shirley seemed like a good fit.  Shirley passed away in 2017 before groundbreaking for the new section occurred. “She would have loved it here,” said Samantha.
 
*in Chinese culture, surname appears first
Posted on November 1, 2019 9:00 AM by Mary Cheston
Categories: Life in New Town
There are probably very few people who are as enthusiastic about Williamsburg and all it has to offer than Samantha Forsyth. Samantha is a resident of the Federal Towns townhomes here in New Town and an attorney in the New Town offices of Kaufman & Canoles.
 
Samantha first visited Williamsburg the summer after 5th grade as part of a camping trip with her parents. The Forsyths were traveling from Calgary, Canada and exploring historical sites across the United States, and came to Colonial Williamsburg after visiting Gettysburg. Williamsburg became a vacation spot for many future summers allowing the family to absorb the historic atmosphere in combination with, of course, Busch Gardens. Samantha’s parents eventually bought property in New Town and then Governor’s Land, and currently spend half of their time in the area. They developed close friendships and business relationships with the principals of Twiddy Realty, and are actively involved with William & Mary.
 
While their love of history drew the Forsyths to Williamsburg, Samantha found something else – a “welcoming, small and high caliber” college that became her first choice when it came time to apply to college. She attended William & Mary as an international student, graduating in 2015, and then decided to pursue a law degree. After considering several schools, Samantha “just kinda knew” that she couldn’t match the warm and engaged educational community she had found at William & Mary. So William & Mary Law School became her home for the next 3 years.
 
When law school was over, Samantha expected to move on and explore new places. She had enjoyed a variety of internships and work in Canada and throughout Virginia, so 7 years here seemed like plenty. Once again fate intervened and she was offered a business law position at Kaufman & Canoles, which currently offers her exposure to many different practice areas. Samantha loves her work and the benefits of Williamsburg, which is “nestled away” from urban environments, yet enjoys proximity to the beach as well as Washington, D.C.  
 
The biggest adjustments for this “Canadian Williamsburgite” are definitely the humidity and our political system - how American elections have become so polarized and how the government is grappling with issues that Canada resolved years ago. Samantha explained, “In Canada, I think people share the same fundamental values and want the same things – access to healthcare, a strong educational system, etc. – we may just differ on how to achieve these outcomes.”
 
While Samantha was a college student, her local “go to” family was the Youngbloods and McCarthys. She would frequently tease Mike Youngblood that since she was surrounded by New Town streets named after women, when would someone name a street after her? So when Roper Park was being designed, Mike Youngblood rolled out the plans for “Samantha Lane.” It was “a surprise and an honor” to be included in this development, she said. Even more so, because she shares this honor with her grandmother (see the related story on Shirley Park.)
 
Posted on November 1, 2019 9:00 AM by Phil Casey
Categories: Life in New Town
                                                                                                  Hanging out at Capriccio Ristorante
 
                Hope it was all treats!             
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