October 6, 2021
Celebrating the Power of Wind, Clean Energy and a Green Environment
in Virginia Beach and all of Hampton Roads
Credit a de Witt Sister for George Hagerman’s Leadership on Offshore Wind
On weekdays, you can find George Hagerman at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography on the Norfolk campus of Old Dominion University, where he is a lead researcher on projects involving his long-time passion and academic focus, offshore wind energy.

After work, he is home on 61st Street in Virginia Beach’s north end, just a few miles from where his interest in environmental science began, at Friends School on Laskin Road. “In the early 1960s, it was a bit unusual for a Quaker school to accept military kids,” he recalls, “but I felt quite at home there. My fourth grade teacher was Katrine de Witt, who lived with her sister in a cottage at 11th and Atlantic Avenue. She assigned us to create a pressed seaweed album, and in the process of collecting algae, I fell in love with the sea and all its amazing forms of life. Many years later when I was in grad school, I visited her and said, ‘because of you, I’m getting a masters in oceanography’.”

The de Witt sisters departed their two-story house in 1988, but it’s still in use, not as a hotel, but as the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. The de Witt Cottage claims the 126-year-old L-shaped building (with a basement believe it or not) is the oldest remaining private structure on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. 

As for Hagerman, he is now 40 years into a career researching marine renewable energy systems, including offshore wind, wave power, tidal stream energy and more. At ODU, he pursues grants for creative concepts like an underwater webcam to livestream the sea life around the turbines. “Imagine being able to watch fish swarming around those columns in real time?” he says. “That would be cool.”

George is thrilled to see his dream of offshore wind development actually being realized off the Virginia and North Carolina coastlines. As a longtime advocate, it’s partially due to his persistence, which he credits to a teacher that inspired a nine-year old’s curiosity. “Can’t thank her enough.”
More George!
To hear more from ODU’s George Hagerman on offshore wind, visit WINDSdays on Facebook.
Did You Know?

This summer we had over four months of clean and open beaches. The state health department performs tests at 22 locations from Back Bay to Chick’s Beach each Tuesday. Just four times between May 11 and September 28 were bacteria levels such that advisories were posted. That’s very low. One way to keep it that way is to scoop the poop of pets when they are on the sand. 
When you meet Tim Ritter, you think, this man is so nice, he must be a trained pastor. 

In fact, he is, which is what brought him and his family to Virginia Beach almost eight years ago, but once here, his wife recalled an idea they had while living in the Midwest. “We had talked about producing a family friendly show, preferably in a resort area.” So yada, yada, yada, the Ritter clan last summer opened Family Fun Xperience (FFX Theatre) on 16th Street at the oceanfront.

Open year round, it features “unique live and theatrical shows and live game shows,” each performed in an interactive format and ideal for all ages (except for the Couples only Game Night once a month). On WINDSdays at 7pm, FFX presents Fun and Game Show. The Fall’O’Fun Halloween edition is coming later in October. Check FFXshow.org for shows, times, prices and discounts, and there is plenty of social distancing among the cushy sofas and chairs. 

But do so because beyond the give and take with the audience and the laughs that ensue, you want to support Tim, his wife Angie, their daughter Katie (the true theatre person) and son, Alec, who are pouring everything into providing not just tourists but also locals with an attraction that parents will feel good sharing with their kids. “This was the most fun we have had together as a family with our 1, 4 and 7-year-olds,” wrote one mom. An experienced counselor, educator and minister, Tim knows how to connect with younger generations and leave them smiling. Everyone, even those without youngsters, feels more connected afterwards.

And Tim’s a WINDSday Warrior, attending our events and always talking up Virginia Beach. FFX Theatre will grow here if we support this non-profit 501(c)(3) focused on strengthening and encouraging families. So, take your children or the grands to FFX this fall or winter. You’ll be part of a great show.
iFly Kids Special

Many thanks to iFly Virginia Beach for becoming our latest WINDSday partner! Want to feel the rush of skydiving without jumping from a plane? iFly is the ticket. Right now, kids 12 and under fly for half price on WINDSdays!
Family Fun Xperience

Looking for a place to take the family ? Visit the Family Fun Experience at 206 16th Street on WINDSdays for the Fun and Game Show. Make sure to ask for your WINDSday discount!