March Civic Connection

March 7, 2008

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.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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.


Wards Corner “Clean-Up Day” in the event of rain : Saturday, March 22, 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m

March 7, 2008

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. 

Thank you,

Laura Thom


General Assembly approves restrictions on Payday Lenders

March 7, 2008

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.


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