Wards Corner “Clean-Up Day” Saturday, March 8th, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.

February 28, 2008

Laura Thom has asked that the following be posted to inform The Greater Wards Corner Partnership of the Wards Corner “Clean-Up Day” :

I would like to post a notice on WardsCornerNow about the Wards Corner clean up day that I am sponsoring with the support of my employer, North Shore Sports & Physical Therapy, and Keep Norfolk Beautiful.

Date & Time: Saturday, March 8th (rain date Saturday, March 15th)
             8:00-11:00 am
Where to Meet:  North Shore Sports & Physical Therapy
             7419 Granby St. (next to ATC Fitness)

Trash bags, safety vests, gloves and refreshments will be provided.  Prizes will also be awarded.  All who wish to participate must register by calling me at 489-5820.  Anyone younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a permission form which will be available the day of the clean up.
Thank you.

Laura Thom


Letter to the Mayor and Councilmembers

February 27, 2008

The following letter was mailed to Mayor Fraim and the rest of City Council by the Greater Wards Corner Partnership:

Dear Mayor Fraim and members of City Council:

The purpose of this letter is to seek your immediate help in the revitalization of the Wards Corner area consistent with the strategies outlined in the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan adopted by City Council in November 2004. We do so because the residents of the entire area are growing increasingly frustrated with the apparent inattention given to this area despite our monthly meetings with council representatives to the Wards Corner Task Force.

The Wards Corner area has been in a steady state of decline for over 20 years. Most notable in the business district, this deterioration is also evident in the Denby Park, Monticello Village and Oakdale Farms neighborhoods as well as the Titustown area and is putting negative pressure on many other neighborhoods in the Greater Wards Corner area.

The Greater Wards Corner Partnership was formed eleven years ago, in an attempt to work in partnership with the city to address this growing blight. The 22 civic leagues, numerous businesses, churches, schools and individuals were committed then and are as committed today to see the entire area revitalized so that it is an economically viable section of the city. We all live here, love the area and do not want to see it decline any further.

In 2000, the Wards Corner Task Force was reestablished as a partnership of the city, City Council and citizens of the Greater Wards Corner Partnership area to develop revitalization plans and strategies for the area. In the beginning we were all hopeful that we would see positive progress and with the adoption of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan we were encouraged that we would have tools to assist us and the city to move forward. While we recognize that some progress was made initially, it is now evident that all of these plans have been stalled.

As a result of these concerns the Greater Wards Corner Partnership is now calling for your immediate action to the following prioritized items. Wards Corner’s location as a gateway to downtown Norfolk and potential for increased city tax revenue should make its revitalization a priority item on Council’s agenda.

1. A revitalization action plan for the Denby Park/Monticello Village/Oakdale Farms neighborhoods that will include the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the NRHA and the city so that this area may be a designated area with benefits similar to a Conservation Plan.

2. The purchase of the Alexis Apartments in Titustown and renewal of that area.

3. A plan to address the deteriorating infrastructure in the Wards Corner Business
District and

4. The location of the new Police Station into the Central Business Park.

We believe that these are reasonable requests and consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Very little attention has been given to the Greater Wards Corner area for the past several years and as a result it continues to decline. We are concerned that, unlike other areas of Norfolk, the Partnership area does not have a champion on City Council and call on our representatives to support us in moving forward. We can no longer wait; the time for you to act is now.

We look forward to your timely response and an agenda which addresses these concerns at the next Wards Corner Task Force meeting.

Sincerely,

The members and residents of the Greater Wards Corner Partnership

The above letter can be downloaded, printed, and sent to your Council representatives:

City Council Letter (PDF)


The Greater Wards Corner Partnership overwhelmingly rejects the development of a CVS Pharmacy

February 26, 2008

Tuesday night, the Greater Wards Corner Partnership rejected the pursuit of CVS Pharmacy to develop a site presently occupied by the BP Gas Station and part of the Midtown Shopping Center parking lot on the Northeast corner of Granby Street and Little Creek Road. The CVS development would be grossly contradictory to what the consultants planned for the Northeast Corner in the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.


Greater Wards Corner Partnership meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, February 26th at 7 pm

February 25, 2008

When: Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Norfolk Workforce Development Center, 201 E. Little Creek Road (next to Kroger)

 Agenda:

1.  Introduction

2.  Pace Report

3.  Announcements

  A. Discussion of the Citizen Letter sent to City Council

  B. CVS Pharmacy negotiating to buy the BP Gas Station and a portion of the Midtown Shopping Center

4. Vote on changing meeting night from 4th Tuesday to 4th Thursday

5. Explanation of Committees:  (Chairman will give a synopsis of their committee)

  A.  Development Committee

  B.  Codes and Public Safety

  C.  Beautification Committee

  D.  Public Infrastructure Committee

  E.  Public Relations Committee

  F.  City Connection Committee

6. Break into committees to work on the following:

  A. Choose Chairman

  B.   Choose Co-Chairman

  C.   Set meeting schedule

  D.   Set meeting time

  E.    Set meeting place

  F.    Establish three goals

 G.    Establish time-line

 H.    Have one meeting before next months meeting and be prepared to report back to the group at next meeting.

7. Adjourn


Homestead exemption amendment killed by Senate

February 25, 2008

The State Senate killed a bill that would have allowed the voters to vote on a constitutional amendment that would have allowed cities to exempt or defer up to 20% of a residence’s real estate taxes. Read the article on Pilot Online and read how ALL the Virginia Republican Senators and two Democratic Senators killed the bill on Vivian J. Paige’s Blog.


S.L. Nusbaum starts construction of apartments in Denby Park

February 23, 2008

S.L. Nusbaum has commenced construction on a 15 million dollar affordable-housing apartment complex on the site of the old Casterton Trailer Park behind Southern Shopping Center in Denby Park. The 4.2 acre trailer park was purchased in June of 2007 for $2,325,000. The project to be named SouthWind Apartments will consist of 5 apartment buildings, a clubhouse, swimming pool and fitness center. Pilot Online reports:

Rents for the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are likely to range from $650 to $975, said Richard Counselman of Nusbaum Realty.

This is the first major private investment in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership area since the inception of the Mayor’s Wards Corner Task Force.


Results of Norfolk Tea Party 2 survey are in – Councilman Don Williams fares poorly

February 17, 2008

A crowd estimated at 200 attended a meeting of the Norfolk Tea Party 2 on Saturday at the Banque to hear the results of the Norfolk Citizens Survey. The crowd was reserved as it listened to Larry Gregory eloquently elaborate on the results of the survey. When the results were revealed to the question “Are your City Council representatives doing a good job?”, Councilman Don Williams fared the worst of all the Council members. He received a 74% “NO” vote and a 13% “Yes” vote. Council representatives Daun Hester, Barclay Winn and Randy Wright were in attendance. Virginian-Pilot staff writer Harry Minium was accused by Councilwoman Daun Hester for ruining City Manager Regina Williams reputation because of his stories on Alphonso Albert and the Human Services Department audit. Read Harry Minium’s article in the Virginian-Pilot or Pilot Online.  Brian Smith is to be congratulated and thanked for running a well orchestrated and effective meeting of the Tea Party.


Wards Corner Task Force meetings characterized as “shouting matches”

February 15, 2008

Staff writer Harry Minium has characterized some Wards Corner Task Force meetings as “shouting matches” in his what’s in a name” article in today’s Virginian-Pilot. Having attended most Wards Corner Task Force meetings, I have never experienced a “shouting match”; must have happened at a meeting, that I missed.


Norfolk Tea Party 2 survey results to be presented this Saturday

February 15, 2008

We received the following email from Elyse Kalfus:

Dear Neighbor,The results are in – please join us Saturday Morning, February 16th, 9:00 am at The Banque
(1849 E. Little Creek Rd).
 
The Norfolk Tea Party’s 2008 citizens survey asks residents how they feel about real estate taxes, the job performance of city officials, and top issues facing our City – please join us Saturday morning to be the first to hear and discuss the results. The Mayor and City Council have been invited to attend, and we anticipate news coverage as well. 
Please join us. Also please note, as we are conserving our limited resources ($) to get the word out about real estate taxes and important public meetings later this Spring, so we are relying on you to forward this email invitation and bring a friend or neighbor this Saturday morning.

As always, thank you. We look forward to seeing you there

Sincerely, Brian Smith

www.norfolkteaparty2.org 


Congratulations Councilman Burfoot

February 14, 2008

Kudos to Councilman Burfoot’s Greater Norview Task Force for its plan to revitalize the Sewells Point Business Corridor. Read Sewells Point Business Corridor Implementation Plan and Sewells Point Business Corridor Priorities Ranking


The Greater Wards Corner Task Force to meet Thursday without Council members and City Representatives

February 12, 2008

After discussion with several of the citizen members of the Wards Corner Task Force, it has been decided to hold the regularly scheduled meeting as planned for Thursday February 14th at 8:30 am at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center, 7300 Newport Avenue, without the presence of the Council and City Representatives who cancelled the meeting. The agenda for the meeting will be to finalize our action plans/strategy as discussed and agreed upon at the last Tuesday Greater Wards Corner Partnership meeting. See you there.”


February Task Force Meeting Cancelled

February 12, 2008

The city managers office sent the following email out yesterday:

All,

There are a number of common issues that have been raised during recent Greater Wards Corner Task Force meetings. Many of the issues are related to the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan. We are attempting to find better ways to communicate meaningful information to task force members. However, currently the meetings are not structured in a way that creates opportunities to problem solve or opportunities to engage in productive conversations that are results oriented.

During the past month, we have heard these concerns from City Council members as well as residents and business owners in the Greater Wards Corner area. As a result of these dialogues, we are cancelling the next scheduled task force meeting (February 14) in order to gather additional feedback as we restructure the task force. During this period of time, we will solicit additional ideas and provide feedback to the task force members at the next scheduled meeting (March 13).

It is our intention that through this dialogue, we will establish a stronger task force which will include representation from each of the neighborhoods as well as representation from schools, hospitals, and other businesses. Our expectation is that the larger task force group will continue to meet on a regular basis and a smaller task-oriented group will meet more frequently. The key in both groups is to ensure that all stakeholders are at the table and that their concerns are heard.

Again, the Greater Wards Corner Task Force meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 14, 2008 has been cancelled. The next regularly scheduled task force meeting will be held on March 13, 2008.


Norfolk Police need help finding Anthony M. Scott

February 11, 2008

Norfolk Police need help finding Anthony M. Scott, who has been charged with malicious wounding and using a gun during a felony.   He is wanted in connection with a Feb. 2nd shooting in the 300 block of San Antonio Blvd.

Scott, 32, also uses the nickname “Ant.”

He is described as black, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, the release says. He weights [sic] 200 pounds and wears his hair in corn rows. He could be driving a gold or silver Mazda MPV.

He is known to visit the San Antonio Boulevard area, the release says.

Virginian-Pilot article here.


Denby Park residents call “10 On Your Side”

February 8, 2008

Denby Park residents are fed up with City Council’s, to date, impotent response to cleaning up crime in their neighborhood. Finally, at a breaking point, the residents have called WAVY TV’s “10 On Your Side” for help. View the clip “High crime area has area residents concerned“.


Message from Wards Corner Civic League President, Jim English

February 6, 2008

Jim English is the president of the Wards Corner Civic League.  February’s Wards Corner Civic League newsletter includes the following message from Mr. English:

Dear Neighbors,
Two articles in the Virginia Pilot dated February 6, 2008 really raised my frustration level with our city and state elected leaders to the point where I almost think our government “for the people, of the people and by the people” is indeed broken. I already believe that it is broken at the federal level. Article one says that SB 162, SB 163 and HB 119 which would give localities more power to deal with blighted vacant property is on hold this year to be studied by the Virginia Housing Commission prior to next years general assembly session. Once again the general assembly has clearly dodged their responsibility to give localities more tools to revitalize blighted areas showing once again they lack the political will to represent the citizens of Virginia in lieu of yet another “study”. The second article “city to acquire 11 homes in blighted area” is about the city councils approval on February 5th to buy homes in the Berkley and Campostella neighborhoods for $1.3 million. HELLO!! What about the blighted properties in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership area. We have 11+ houses and properties that should be acquired such as the blighted shopping center in the Northeast corner of Wards Corner!! Where are the council members representing our area? Out to lunch? Or out of town? Where is the political will to deal with the decline of the Wards Corner area that has been going downhill for way over 15 years? I am sure that those properties in Berkley and Campostella are blighted and that area needs attention but what about our area. Is help on the way??

Well, last week Mayor Fraim delivered his State of the City address. The following are quotes from that address. Read the rest of this entry »


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