Wards Corner criminal activity Tuesday night

January 31, 2008

I received the following email from Lieutenant Hungerford, Norfolk Police Department, as a response to an inquiry from Laura Thom, Jim English and myself on the criminal activity and police presence in the Greater Wards Corner area on Tuesday night , January 29th, 2008. As always, we in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership appreciate the great service of the men and women in our Police Department.

 Louis/Jim/Laura –

Yes there was a robbery at the Shell on the evening of the 29th. A lone B/M suspect went into the station, displayed a gun and took money fomr the cash register. We had several units right in the area, but the guy disappeared into the woodwork. He ran over behind RC’s so he probably lives in one of those apartments.
Also, with regard to the event that also occurred on the 29th at about the same time over by Norfolk Collegiate – An officer, over off of Lafayette Blvd., attemtped to stop a car for a traffic violation, and he fled. Our guys backed off, but put it out on radio. Another unit saw the vehicle on Granby and by the time he turned around the bad guys stopped the car and ran off, with the exception of the woman and a child. She was being detained (which she was being vocal about). Drugs were found in the car. K-9 was attempting to get a track. The area was cordoned off at the time due to the tracking effort. Sorry for the inconvenience,but we were working to make the arrest. Unfortunately we did not get the guys, but V& N (Vice and Narcotics) is following up since the car was not stolen, and the woman can ID the suspects. The car was impounded.

Message from RJ Luce

January 30, 2008

Below is a listing of the meetings for Norfolk City Council for 2008. I will be attending the February 5th meeting at 7:00 pm. All who would like to attend please email me back so that we can coordinate. I am planning on attending every evening meeting that I can to tell the council that we want their support, loud and often.


RJ Luce


Meeting Schedule

  • First Tuesday: 7:00 p.m. Business meeting, formal docket. Public can address Council on new business provided they have followed the sign-up policy.
  • Second Tuesday: 2:30 p.m. Business meeting, formal docket. Public can address Council on new business provided they have followed the sign-up policy.
  • Third Tuesday: 2:30 p.m. Business meeting, formal docket. Public can address Council on new business provided they have followed the sign-up policy.
  • Fourth Tuesday: 7:00 p.m. Business meeting, formal docket. To the extent possible, public hearings and planning-related items will be scheduled during these sessions.

The full meeting schedule and canceled meetings can be found here.

Guidelines for speakers can be found here.

Letter regarding Dalis/Martone property

January 30, 2008

The following is a letter sent to Larry Hecht at Harvey Lindsay by the Book Exchange owner, John Knight.

Dear Mr. Hecht,

Over the last few years, I have had several conversations with you regarding the constant deterioration of Midtown Shopping Center.  Unfortunately, my calls seem to have made little difference. I am writing this email to update you on the current situation and to include others in this dialogue in hopes that we will see some improvements.

I encourage you to look at the website wardscornernow.com.  Specifically, I would like for you and Ms. Dalis to read some comments by frustrated business owners and citizens:


The discontent regarding the Dalis/Martone property is rising quickly.  As you know, Foot Locker just closed it’s doors and word has it that several more businesses are planning to leave soon. In addition, there are now many broken windows in the back of the building which, according to your property manager, Ms. Dalis believes are the problem of the railroad and not her problem. We are also experiencing a large increase in rodents on the property.

Last night, we had a second special meeting of the Wards Corner Partnership which was attended by over 100 concerned citizens. As usual, Midtown Shopping Center was pointed out as being the biggest problem in the business district. As I’m sure you know, this building, it’s lack of occupants and state of disrepair are increasingly reflecting badly on Harvey Lindsay, you and Ms. Dalis. I imagine that you and Harvey Lindsay have little control over what is happening but I want you to be aware of the impression. I also encourage the three of you to attend meetings of the Wards Corner Partnership, Wards Corner Partnership and/or Wards Corner Business Association so your voice can be heard and any misunderstandings can be cleared up.

Lastly, a week ago, I was told by a business owner that the following conversation took place between you and him regarding renting the old Regino’s place. The gentleman’s family has owned a successful restaurant in Norfolk for over 60 years and they would like to relocate to an area with more parking. He approached me about the space. I told him it was a good location and he should contact you about leasing it. The gentleman called me back 15 minutes later and was infuriated with your response. Apparently, you told him that the
owner is only accepting proposals from national chains. He then told you that Regino’s is not a national chain and neither are many of the other business that are left. I am extremely puzzled by this hocus pocus as another potential tenant was told that Ms. Dalis is not giving leases longer than 6 months. As we both know, national chains do no sign such short leases and neither would any business in it’s right mind.

As citizens of this community, I think you and Ms. Dalis owe it to the citizens and business owners of Wards Corner to be honest with us. If you are not interested in leasing any of the vacant units, take down your signs and let us know what your plans are. Over the past several years, millions of potential tax revenue has been lost by the city, business owners have been financially hurt, customers feel uncomfortable and Wards Corner has become more dangerous because of this situation.

We sincerely want to work with you and Ms. Dalis to solve our problems and we await your response.

John Knight
Owner- Book Exchange
Secretary- Greater Wards Corner Business Association

Your P.A.C.E. Officer’s crime prevention tips

January 30, 2008

I received the following email from our red sector P.A.C.E Officer, Curtis Jackson:

Good Afternoon,
We’re trying to get these crime prevention tips out to everyone and if you can help us out, we would appreciate it.
We have seen a problem with people leaving their valuables in their vehicles, and the bad guys are breaking into their vehicle and taking them. We came up with the idea of this brochure, PACE Officer Crime Prevention Tips , to help educate the public to help prevent them from being a victim.
Thank you
Officer Curtis Jackson
3rd Patrol Div. Red Sector P.A.C.E.

Requested information

January 30, 2008

Below is the information that was projected on the screen at last nights meeting. There was a request to post this so that everyone would have the representatives contact information.

Tonight’s Goals

1. Denby Park

a. Economic Development – Partnership with property owners.

b. Widening of Fort Worth Avenue

2. Wards Corner Business District City Owned


3. Titustown

a. Alexis Apartments

4. Police Department

Ward One: Don Williams, donwilliams1@cox.net, 636-4710 M

Ward Two: Theresa Whibley, drwhibley@msn.com, 714-3151 M

Super Ward 6: Barclay Winn, barclay@winnnursery.com, 494-1400 O

Super Ward 7: Daun Hester, daun.hester@norfolk.gov

WC Partnership meeting recap

January 29, 2008

The second meeting of the reinvigorated Wards Corner Partnership was held tonight at the Workforce Development Center. Across the front of the meeting room sat 10 current civic league presidents who together proposed an action plan to put more pressure on our elected officials to ebb the downfall of Wards Corner.

The action plan included:

  • Moving forward with the Comprehensive plan, especially redevelopment in Denby Park
  • Purchase of the Alexis Apartments
  • Wards Corner infrastructure improvements

The conversation tonight highlighted, once again, the lack of a champion for the Wards Corner Partnership area on City Council. A plan to let our concerns known was debated and letters to the editor, letters to the councilpersons, and this website were determined to be excellent tools to let the councilpersons and our fellow citizens know that we are fed up with the lack of attention to the blight in Wards Corner.

The Partnership members at tonights meeting are energized and intend to work until Wards Corner is no longer placed “on the back-burner”. Wards Corner Now.

To have your letters and articles posted on this website, email them to wardscornernow@wardscornernow.com

Old Trolley Route

January 29, 2008

The following is an editorial written by Tim Smith and printed in the Virginian-Pilot this past weekend titled “Old trolley route”:

Now that everything is a go with light rail in Norfolk and The Tide is moving forward, Norfolk must begin to move on the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan. Looking at aerial images of Norfolk, extending light rail from the Saint Paul’s area of the city to the beaches of Ocean View via Fenchurch, Church and Granby streets seems to makes perfect sense.

This route uses old trolley rights-of-way laid down decades ago but, for the most part, still maintained as public land. It cuts through the center of Norfolk and would serve more residents than a Hampton Boulevard route.

This route ties together five retail areas (Ocean View, Wards Corner, Riverview, 21st Street and Downtown). It also ties together the Virginia Zoo, Lafayette Park and Ocean View Beach Park. And it would provide access to DePaul Medical Center.

In addition, this route links Naval Station Norfolk to a large number of condo units. Tying light rail to the Peninsula would also be easy from the Wards Corner area.

For this extension of light rail to work efficiently and cost effectively, the revitalization of Wards Corner must begin now. That way, the infrastructure will be in place to just continue on with the light rail system when the downtown line is completed.

For light rail to truly work in Norfolk, The Tide must benefit those in the core neighborhoods as well as downtown.

Timothy P. Smith


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