Town Crier Articles

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 ( provides supportive and emergency services to individuals experiencing homelessness as well as to those vulnerable individuals struggling to maintain housing.  FISH, Inc. ( 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 ( or Eden Glenn (  
Posted on November 1, 2023 7:00 AM by Patti Vaticano
The season of giving and gratitude is upon us, once more, despite a year filled with uncertainty, unrest, and second-guessing for many Americans.  The world seems too political and too fractured to bear, here at home and abroad.  Finding things to be grateful for is a bit of a scavenger hunt; at best, but there’s a curious fact about scavenger hunts:  If you stick with one, you will be amazed at the haul you can make.  You just have to look a little harder, in times like these.  There are, indeed, blessings—often many and considerable—for which to be grateful.  Parts of our country have been victimized by devastating by fires, floods, and storms, these past two seasons, while Hampton Roads has enjoyed relatively peaceful and sound weather, thus far this year.  Many countries have suffered violent political unrest; but our local elections this autumn, while charged, took place as they always have, with dedicated opponents able to freely speak their mind on issues and concerns.  Fall colors finally arrived, and local merchants stocked their shelves with everything familiar for this time of year, both a comfort and a reassurance that the year’s cycle has come round, once more, and that we are all still here and all is well.  Perhaps you can celebrate good health, or the nearness of those you love. Perhaps a new companion, or a successful new job.  Perhaps you have been gifted with great abundance in some way and have been given the grace to share it. Happy is the grateful and giving heart—but it must be cultivated and nurtured.
Hopefully, you can tend to that garden, this Thanksgiving, and during the joyous holidays to follow.
Happy Thanksgiving, New Town!
Holiday Riddle:  What genre of music did Pilgrims like best?
Curious Thanksgiving Info:  The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet in diameter. The Guiness World Records holding pie was baked in 2010 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio. It included a whopping 1,212 pounds of pumpkin, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 2,796 eggs, 525 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of salt and 14.5 pounds of cinnamon.
Historical Thanksgiving Fact:   The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three-day harvest festival, including 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. It is believed by historians that only five women were present. Turkey wasn't on the menu.
Holiday Quote:  For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.   Elie Wiesel                                                                                                                           
Thanksgiving Blessing:   
O Thou, whose hand hath brought us
Unto this joyful day,
Accept our glad thanksgiving,
And listen as we pray.      Frederick W. Goadby
Holiday Hack:  Cooking with your Dishwasher.  Your dishwasher can steam your side veggies for the holiday. Take an airtight mason jar, add your vegetables, water, and seasonings, and you can cook them while washing a load of dishes.
For more holiday hacks like this, visit:
Easy-Breezy Corn Casserole Side
can be made before hand and warmed at 300 degree F for 10-20 minutes the day of.  Can be frozen, as well.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry cornbread mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking dish.
2.  Mix whole and creamed corn, cornbread mix, sour cream, melted butter, and eggs together in a medium bowl until well combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared dish.
3.  Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Black Friday Hack:   Create a strategic shopping plan to follow.  Itemize advertised deals before the holiday arrives and road map those stores offering the best coupons or offers. Then, shop early—and with a favorite buddy. Always makes for a fun time and a memorable event.
Pet Care:  Thanksgiving Pet Safety
  1. Keep the feast on the table—not under it. 
  2. No pie or other desserts for your pets.
  3. Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
  4. Put the trash away where your pets can't find it.
  5. Be careful with decorative plants. 
  6. Quick action can save lives. Call ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) if the unthinkable happens
  7. Visitors can upset your pets. Be aware of potential confrontations.
  8. If guests have compromised immune systems, advise them of your pets so they can be prepared.  Advise them if you have exotic pets to make sure they will be comfortable having them around.
  9. Watch your exits.  Pets can easily escape during the festivities—and remember:  identification tags and microchips reunite families. Get your pets microchipped!
  10. Monitor your pets around holiday decorations—especially lit candles and ornamental foods, for obvious reasons.
From:  American Medical Veterinary Association
Riddle Answer:  Plymouth Rock
Posted on November 1, 2023 6:55 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
New Town’s second Fall Festival got off to a rocky start with heavy rain on Saturday.  Our rain date, Sunday, started with ominous looking clouds and strong winds but slowly cleared up.  Still, during set up the obstacle course tunnels and squares repeatedly went flying across the Village Walk green.  Fortunately, by the 2:00 start time, Activities Committee members had everything battened down and the witches, ghosts, pumpkins and skeletons and bats decorating the trees no long threatened to fly away.
Residents enjoyed popcorn, candy, Halloween decorated cookies, and cider as they ambled around the green taking in the fun of an old-fashioned fall festival which featured games and races, an obstacle course, pumpkin painting, and New Town’s version of a cake walk.  Parents relished watching their kids exhaust themselves as they ran or toddled from the toss games-pitching balls, bean bags and disks at Halloween buckets, a shark, and other objects-to the races and then to the obstacle course, where they crawled through tunnels, maneuvered through a long line of boxes and stretching themselves doing the limbo by bending backwards under a pole. Children particularly enjoyed receiving candy for every game or race they attempted and getting a ticket to pick from the prize bucket when they won. 
Pie Face Showdown and the Cake Walk were again crowd favorites.  In Pie Face, two kids competed at pounding a button to see who could be the first to get a lever attached to a hand to toss whipped on their opponent’s face.  The “loser” happily licked the whipped cream off their cheeks and vowed to win at their next try.  The Cake Walk, similar to musical chairs, had children and adults walking to music in a large circle around fourteen numbered signs decorated with images of fall and Halloween, competing to win a giant cookie cake.  New this year was a Halloween pumpkin egg hunt, which had kids scrambling through the bushes and reaching up to the trees for their treats.
Adults joined in the fun playing cornhole and croquet, painting pumpkins, and laughing as they raced their kids in old-fashioned flour sacks and in a competition requiring and contestants to run across the green with grabbers to pick up small objects and run back to the start.  It was of course enjoyable watching all the children, teens and grown ups having fun outside.
In fact, we had so many photo contributions from this event, that we've created a new NTRA website photo album.  You can view all the fun photos here (only a small sample is shown below.)
Many thanks to our 15 New Town volunteers, including members of the Activities Committee and their families, who made the event possible.
The next Activities Committee event is the Holiday Bake-Off and Dessert Fest on Thursday, December 7 at Legacy Hall.  (See related Town Crier article).
Posted on November 1, 2023 6:45 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
It's back!  We had so much fun last year that we are hosting another Dessert Fest & Bake Off at Legacy Hall, December 7, 6:00-8:00 to help kick off the holiday season.   
Calling all New Town bakers!  The NTRA Activities Committee is seeking New Towners interested in competing in a baking contest featuring both holiday and non-holiday desserts.  On December 7 at Legacy Hall, Bake-Off participants will present their baked goods in two categories: bars/cookies and cakes/cupcakes, and 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 which is now open for registrations.
All residents are invited to the Dessert Fest, where you will have the opportunity to taste samples of the submitted baked goods as well as other tasty desserts. Coffee and water will also be provided, and there will be seating for attendees to relax with neighbors and enjoy the goodies. No registration is required to attend and sample! 
Posted on October 1, 2023 7:00 AM by Jack Espinal, Board President
As you may know, the two large stormwater retention ponds (BMP–04 and BMP–06) located adjacent to the Village Walk neighborhood are owned by CPT Settlers Market LLC. Both of these ponds have only received interim approval for use by James City County and require a significant amount of work before they can be formally accepted by the county.
On September 17, 2023 James City County approved the plans submitted by Settlers Market to mitigate the multitude of problems with the two ponds. This work includes the enlargement of BMP–04 by the movement of the large retention wall on the northwest side of the BMP, installing survey markers to track possible movement, outflow barrel pipe repairs, fixing erosion issues, and adding 6-foot-high fencing. Work required on BMP–06 is significantly less and includes a spillway subsidence repair, downdraw angle corrections, and adding 6-foot-high fencing.
This project, with an estimated cost of between $1 to $2 million dollars, went to contractors for bid on September 26, 2023. Settlers Market plans to award the contract to the best qualified contractor on October 31, 2023. It is anticipated that the demolition and reconstruction work will begin on or about November 15, 2023. The work on the project is planned to be completed next spring.
This project is solely the responsibility of Settlers Market LLC and will be fully funded by them alone.
Resident Impacts: The only access for BMP–04 is off of Trailview. As a result, the largest impact of this construction project will be on the residents along Trailview. Representatives of Settlers Market have assured the NTRA Board of Directors that access to Trailview and parking in that vicinity will not be blocked or impacted by the construction. The materials staging area and parking for construction equipment will be in the Settlers Market parking lots adjacent to Settlers Market Boulevard.
The community will be kept informed as this project progresses.
Posted on October 1, 2023 6:58 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
The New Town Residential Association Activities Committee is again sponsoring an old-fashioned fun-filled, free, fall event at the Village Walk neighborhood on the corner of Casey and Settlers Market Boulevard.  New Town adults and children as well as family and friends are invited.  Activities will include cake walks, pumpkin painting, and games including corn hole, croquet, and shark toss, races, an obstacle course, pie face showdown, and more.  New this year will be a Halloween “egg” hunt, which will kick off the festival at 2:15 across the street from the main venue.  
Guests will also enjoy cider and other goodies.  Come to participate or just share the good time and music.
Join us as we celebrate the fall season on Saturday, October 14 (rain date Sunday, October 15) from 2:00 to 4:00.  
We need volunteers to help run the Fall Festival.  If interested, please contact Liz Fones-Wolf at  
Posted on October 1, 2023 6:56 AM by Eden Glenn
This summer, the New Town Women’s Lunch Club donated nearly 50 bags of classroom supplies to the Teacher Supply Shop, a program of the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC).  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers, on average, spend close to $500 of their own money each year on unreimbursed classroom supplies. Teachers serving in low income areas spend considerably more. WJCC established the Teacher Supply Shop as a way to reduce this financial burden on our public school teachers.  WJCC accepts donations of classroom supplies from the community and then distributes these to teachers. Information about this program can be found on the WJCC website.
When the New Town Women’s Lunch Club learned of this opportunity, many eagerly participated in contributing supplies. Some also expressed interest in learning about other programs or needs where, together, we might be able to make a difference.  An informal grassroots workgroup of New Town women formed for the purpose of exploring opportunities for those of us living in New Town to give back to the greater Williamsburg community.  The hope is to involve not only the Women’s Lunch Group, but also other New Town neighbors and groups to participate in giving back initiatives on a quarterly basis.  
With colder weather approaching, one area of need is for warm coats for children of all ages. After reaching out to several organizations, Williamsburg  House of Mercy and FISH, Inc. both expressed a strong interest in receiving children’s coats and are capable of distributing these to those most in need. Our group of New Town women want to make it easier for anyone interested in making a donation of a NEW or NEARLY NEW coat to do so.  
Women attending the New Town Women’s Lunch may bring donations to the October, November, and December lunches.  If you would like to participate or make other arrangements to donate a child’s coat or if you would like to learn more about our giving back initiatives, contact Gale Hyatt ( or Eden Glenn ( If you would like to learn more about the New Town Women’s Lunch Club, contact Angela Lesnett (
(Editor's Note: all clubs operate independently of the New Town Residential Association.)
Posted on October 1, 2023 6:55 AM by Jack Espinal, Board President
A New Town resident recently commented to a Board member about a large number of trash and recycle containers left in the streets on the Thursdays after our scheduled Wednesday trash pickups.  They asked if something could be done about the situation as it is really an eyesore and detracts from our community. Article VII, Section 7.1(p) of our Master Declaration of Protective Covenants and the 2005 NTRA Rules document as amended in 2019 addresses trash can storage. 
Here is what you need to know: 
  • "Trash containers and refuse disposal systems must be maintained in enclosures and screened as approved by the Architectural Review Committee." (Article VII, Section 7.1p)
  • "All garbage and trash stored on property shall be kept in covered containers and inside a privacy fence, shed, garage, or other concealed screened area, except when placed at the pickup site the evening prior to the pickup and removed the evening after pickup. Trash containers shall not be kept in driveways and sidewalks or in front yards." (Rules, Section II para. 39)  
However, a few home/cottages within New Town were designed without facilities for shielding trash cans. Others were designed with very small enclosures not large enough for both a trash can and a recycle bin. These homes are identified by street address here in the 2019 Rules Amendment.  Allowed locations for trash can and recycle bin storage are specified for these exceptions only.
The Association will begin tagging and documenting improperly stored trash and recycle containers throughout New Town. It is the Board’s desire to attain voluntary trash can and recycle bin storage compliance without having to resort to using the possible $50 per occurrence fine for violations. Please be sure that your tenants are aware of these requirements!
Keeping trash containers out of sight, and properly stored is a common courtesy which helps keep our community looking attractive and a pleasant place in which to live.
Posted on October 1, 2023 6:50 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
The New Town Activities Committee hosted a pool pizza party on Saturday, August 26th to celebrate the end of summer together. We were pleased with the large turnout of neighborhood families who enjoyed the pizzas with a variety of toppings, watermelon, brownies, cookies, and drinks. Everyone had a fun time visiting with neighbors and meeting new ones.
We look forward to having more events this Fall so everyone can keep in touch with each other. The next event is our second Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14 at Village Walk from 2:00-4:00.  Hope to see you there!
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