We all owe Laura Thom and her volunteers a great big thank you for their participation in last Saturday’s Wards Corner Clean-up. They collected over 40 bags of trash along the Norfolk Southern Railroad Tracks alone.
The Greater Wards Corner Partnership will be meeting this Thursday at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center 201 E. Little Creek Road (next to Kroger) at 7:00 P.M.
2. Pace Report
3. Guest Speaker: Michael J. McKenna, President
Norfolk Police Union
4. Taskforce Update
5. Committee Reports
A. Codes and Public Safety
B. Development Committee
C. Beautification Committee
D. Public Infrastructure Committee
E. Public Relations Committee
F. City Connection Committee
6. New Business
7. Meeting Adjourned
According to a Pilot Online article, Bon Secours will appeal the State decision that denied the building of a new hospital in Virginia Beach, a 30 bed expansion of its Suffolk hospital, and a smaller replacement hospital for its 238 bed Depaul Hospital in Norfolk. Bon Secours has repeated said that DePaul will be closed if a solution is not found. It is time for the City of Norfolk to get very engaged in the appeal process to save DePaul Hospital.
ATTENTION: NORFOLK PROPERTY OWNERS
FACT: Spend, Spend, Spend City Officials are Planning to
INCREASE Your Real Estate Taxes AGAIN!
If you think you should take one councilmember’s advice and just
“GET A SECOND JOB” so you can pay more taxes, stop reading.
If you think Citizens across Norfolk need to join together
to demand a lower tax rate, you’re invited to
THE MOST IMPORTANT MEETING OF 2008
concerning your Future Tax Bill.
Location: Lafayette-Winona Middle School
(Corner of Tidewater Drive and Alsace)
Time: 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30)
The Virginia State Department of Heath dealt a blow to Bon Secour’s Certificate of Public Need today by rejecting it’s plans for a new DePaul Hospital, Virginia Beach Hospital and an expansion of beds in Suffolk. The rejection of the C.O.P.N. will put it’s plans for a new DePaul Hospital on hold indefinitely. Pilot Online Article.
The following email was received from Tim Smith, Wards Corner resident:
I would like to share with all of you the following event that just happen in our area that you will not hear about in the news or from the city.
On the evening of March 17, 2008, around 8:00 pm in the 200 block of Oxford Street, my neighbor was out for a walk. A dark SUV with tinted windows drove past him and turned into a driveway at the end of the block. This SUV then came back down the street past my neighbor and pulled into a driveway a few houses behind him. My neighbor heard the doors close on the SUV and then heard someone tell him to “Give it up”. When my neighbor turned around he saw two men with “hoodies” pulled up over their heads and two guns pointing at him.
That evening my neighbor had done something he has never felt he needed to do in all his years walking in Talbot Park, carry his concealed weapon. My neighbor has a permit and is trained in the use of his weapon and for some reason he had a strong feeling to carry that night. That feeling probably saved his life this week.
As my neighbor reached for his weapon one of the men fired a shot. Everyone ran in opposite directions. My neighbor was not hit but a stray bullet from the ‘would-be-thieves’ was free to do as it pleased. Naturally these two men will not be found as happens in most of these situations.
The suspicion here is that this was part of a gang initiation, to rob someone at gun point. The fact that one of the men was willing to pull the trigger tells me he was ready and willing to kill someone if need be.
This is the kind of story that goes on just about every night in just about every area of Norfolk that does not make it into the paper or on the TV news. Nobody got killed and in this case nobody got robbed so it is not news.
What is news, in the paper and on TV, are the car break-ins in downtown and how something needs to be done about it. Being these break-ins are happening downtown and the fact that we have a “reactive” form of government instead of a “proactive” form of government, I am sure there will be immediate action taken to catch these thieves who are causing havoc in downtown. All the while the tax payers in the suburbs are being terrorized by gangs.
If we are not willing to join together and take back our streets, but choose to ask our police to do that for us, than we need to insure our police force in Norfolk are second to none in Hampton Roads. Our police need to be the top paid with the best benefits and the latest equipment to fight crime.
We need to stop giving tax breaks to developers that create large dirt piles for us to look at each day or empty condos that do not pay taxes. Before we reduce our tax base our police need to be fully funded and the BEST. We need a government that is “proactive” in its approach to crime (I was at the meeting in Wards Corner years ago were the city chose to ignore the evidence of gang activity we presented to them).
The criminals have the upper hand; they have the will, focus and the stamina to do what it takes, no matter how long, to reach their goals.
The question I pose to you is “Do you have a stronger will, better focus and a superior stamina to do what it takes to keep the criminals from reaching their goal?”
If you do not, then you will be hearing more stories like the one my neighbor told me last night. Only the outcomes may be deadlier and harder to live with. The criminals win and we continue paying for our loss, maybe with our lives.
City Council voted last night to purchase the Alexis Apartments in Titustown for a total of 2.4 million dollars. The apartments on the north side of W. Little Creek Road will be purchased first and the apartments on the south side of W. Little Creek Road will be purchased after the City Council has an opportunity to allocate funds in the upcoming budget.
The apartments at 1210 W. Little Creek Road (north side of W. Little Creek) will be purchased for $960,000 and the closing date will be as soon as the terms and conditions of the Purchase and Sale Agreement are met. The apartments at 1227 and 1229 W. Little Creek Road (south side of W. Little Creek) will be purchased for $1,440,000 and the closing date will be as soon as possible after July 1, 2008.
The Purchase Agreement does state that all leases for all apartments must be terminated by the closing date of the 1227 and 1229 properties.
According to the Virginian-Pilot article, it is likely the Titustown Recreation Center will use a portion of the property to expand its parking.
The following email was received from Laura Thom:
Will you please post a reminder for our upcoming Wards Corner Clean up? Originally rained out on March 15th, we will meet this Saturday, March 22nd at North Shore Sports & Physical Therapy, 7419 Granby St. (next to ATC Fitness) at 8am. Refreshments, trash bags, safety vests & gloves will be provided, and all registered participants are eligible to win a variety of prizes from Wards Corner merchants and/or the Great American Clean Up. To register, please call me at 489-5820.
The following email was received from Jim English, President of the Wards Corner Civic League:
The membership of the Wards Corner Civic League cordially invites you to our civic league meeting tonight, March 17th, at 6:45PM at the Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center. Our special guests are Senator Northam and Delegates Alexander and Miller who will be discussing the activities and accomplishments of this years Virginia General Assembly session. Our meeting time will be primarily focused on their presentations with questions and answers to follow. Please join us and hear what they have to say and ask your questions of them. We hope to see you there. Thanks, Jim English, President, Wards Corner Civic League
Third Patrol Red Sector P.A.C.E. Meeting Friday, March 14, 2008 from 11:00AM to 12:00PM Norfolk Workforce Development Center 201 East Little Creek Road (next to Kroger) We provide the lunch and speaker Come join the community partnership Any questions please contact Officer Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Hubbard email@example.com
Greater Wards Corner Partnership
The GWCP has changed it’s time and meeting place to make it easier for people to attend the meetings. We are now meeting on the 4th Thursday of the month at the Workforce Development Center, 201 E. Little Creek Road, next to Kroger. Our meetings start promptly at 7:00 pm and last for only one hour.
At our second meeting we established four (4) goals we wished to establish as our starting point to begin our unified working point with the City. They are as follows:
1. A revitalization action plan for the Denby Park/Monticello Village/ Oak Farms neighborhoods that will include the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the NRHA and the City so that this area may be designated an area with benefits similar to a Conservation Plan Area.
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.
At our third meeting, which lasted one hour and fifteen minutes, we re-established committees to work on this set of goals, and new ones as these are attained. We then divided into groups to choose chairman & co-chairman, set meeting schedules, times & places. The committees are to establish three goals and set time lines, as well as meet one time before our next months meeting and be prepared to report back to the group at the next meeting. These committees and their chairman are as follows and still open for membership. We hope you will encourage participation from your Civic Leagues members.
1. Development Committee Dorma Hedrick 440-9232 Dorma.firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Codes and Public Safety Jim English 423-7154 email@example.com
3. Beautification Committee Joan Griffey 440-9508 firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Public Infrastructure Lester Cavagnaro 963-6996 email@example.com
5. Public Relations Committee Eric Heard 963-6996 firstname.lastname@example.org
6. City Connection Committee Harriette Frost 423-0270 email@example.com
The attached letter, Letter To Council, composed by members of the Task Force, is provided for you to distribute to as many people in your community to copy, sign and send to their Councilman, Mayor and Super Ward Councilman as possible on behalf of the partnership. This will serve to help offer support to our cause. I have included the mailing addresses as well as the e-mail addresses of all those that are involved in this matter. I am also including a copy of an article which ran in the Virginian Pilot in 2007 which speaks to the disparity in city spending when it has come to Wards Corner over the past five plus years.
We at the GWCP welcome you participation and input, in this venture, as we are all equals working toward a common goal. We are open to suggestions on way to achieve those goals together. Please come and join us on Thursday March 27th at 7:00 pm, at the Workforce Development Center. The doors are open early, come at 6:30 pm and spend some time talking to your neighbors and make some new friends in other neighborhoods.
We look forwarding to seeing you there.
Ward One: Don Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-4710 M
809 W. Ocean View Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23503
Ward Two, Theresa Whibley: email@example.com, 714-3151 M
400 Gresham Drive, Suite 811
Norfolk, VA 23507
Super Ward 6: Barclay Winn: Barclay@winnnursery.com, 494-1400 O
1201 Liberty Street
Norfolk, VA 23523
Super Ward 7: Daun Hester, firstname.lastname@example.org, 466-8570 O
Hester, Hester and Associates
3728 Wedgefield Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23502
Mayor Paul Fraim: email@example.com, 664-4679 O
Office of the Mayor
1109 City Hall Building
810 Union Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
The Civic Connection is produced by the City of Norfolk on a monthly basis. Below are some highlights from January’s edition.
CITY COUNCIL UPDATES
Project Focus activity in Denby Park. City Administration has been working diligently on improving the Denby Park area in spite of the many challenges it has faced. Some outcomes of the small meetings and walk-through include tree trimming and park maintenance, overlapping police patrols, bi weekly street sweeping, and the Department of Public Works has an ongoing review of traffic patterns and pedestrian safety crossing along little Creek Road. The Administration is also working on a number of youth initiatives. These initiatives include expanded enforcement of truancy and curfew violations and the development of new programs including the Police Youth Academy, partnership with the YMCA for First T (youth golf program) and a youth chess program.
In an effort to ensure all shifts were aware of the issues involved in Denby Park, the Administration requested two police officers from each shift to participate in a walk through last fall in order to hear first hand the issues the residents of Denby Park want addressed.
Project Focus Initiatives. The City is working on enhancement to the Neighborhood mapper application currently deployed on the Internet. The new version includes a search function that allows the user to select one of the three Project Focus areas. The new version also includes additional information on activities related to code enforcement, zoning violations, placarded buildings, and waste management violations. These enhancements include data from the HTE system and stand alone databases. Currently the data is updated monthly, but a future goal is to have the data refreshed on a weekly basis.
The new version of Neighborhood Mapper will be available on the GIS Internet web page by mid-month.
Laura Thom sent the following email on a date for the “Wards Corner Clean-Up Day” in the event of rain tomorrow:
Tomorrow’s Wards Corner Clean Up.
Although I am hoping against the odds for fair weather tomorrow, indications are that we are in for some downright nasty conditions. Due to extenuating family circumstances, if the clean up does get rained out tomorrow, I need to reschedule the rain date from next Saturday, March 15th to the following Saturday, March 22nd. Quite a large number of folks have signed up for tomorrow’s clean up; so in the event of a rain-out,please call me at 489-5820 to confirm availability for March 22nd.
From the first day that Payday Lenders setup shop in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership area, the members of the Greater Wards Corner Partnership have worked to remove this predatory scourge from our neighborhood. No one has worked harder in the Partnership than Elyse Kalfus, President of the Greater Wards Corner Business Association, to bring to the attention of our elected representatives in Richmond the atrocities that Payday Lenders perpetrate on the financial health of our community.
Pilot Online reports that the General Assembly today approved restrictions on payday lending that include an interest rate ceiling and limits on the number of loans to individuals.
After years of negotiations, the legislation was approved and is being sent to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
The compromise limits borrowers to one loan at a time and no more than five short term loans in 180 days. At the end of that period, a person who has trouble making payments can ask for a 60-day extended payment period.
Once someone who has trouble paying the loans completes their payments, they are not allowed to get another payday loan for 90 days.
If someone borrows five different times over 180 days and has no trouble making payments, that person has to wait 60 days for a new loan.
The bill sets a 36 percent cap on interest charges. It also creates a database to track loans and borrowers. The database would start next year.