Brewer, Protogyrou, and Saunders Questionnaire

March 31, 2010
Ward One

Ward One

The following email was sent to Ward 1 City Council candidates, Chuck Brewer, Andy Protogyrou, and Barbara Saunders.  (If anyone has an email for Paul Trice, please use the “Contact Us” link on this page and I will invite him to participate).

On behalf of Wards Corner Now  I’d like to thank you all for giving up your time and energy to run for the Ward One council seat.  For the first time ever, Wards Corner Now is contacting candidates with a questionnaire, the responses to which I would like to post on   I plan on posting each of your responses to Question 1 on April 13, Question 2 on April 14, and Question 3 on April 15.

All responses will be due by April 11.  Please include your website and a digital photograph that you would like posted along with your responses.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit our website and sign up for the email updates.

I thank you for your cooperation and look forward to the receipt of your responses.  Here are the questions:

1.  As you know, Wards Corner Now concerns itself with issues that directly affect the Greater Wards Corner Area.  Please list and describe those issues that are, in your opinion, the most pressing issues affecting the Greater Wards Corner Area.

2.  Please explain in detail the solutions you intend to utilize to address the issues you identified in question #1, above.

3.  Detail those items in the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan that you believe are incorrect or need to be changed and explain why you believe so.


Light Rail to Wards Corner

March 30, 2010

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation released a Transit Vision Plan for Hampton Roads in March 2009.  Their transit vision statement for Hampton Roads:

An integrated public transit network will provide Hampton Roads with transportation choice, thereby ensuring greater mobility, economic development, environmental protection, energy independence, and quality of life.

According to the Plan, after extending The Tide light rail system to the oceanfront, the next step is to extend light rail from Newtown Rd, to the airport, through Wards Corner, and on to the Naval Base.

[The proposed Wards Corner extension] runs from I-264 parallel to Military Highway and I-64 to Naval Station Norfolk.   Currently adopted 2034 forecasts of residential density in the corridor do not support rail, except along Little Creek Road west of I-564. However, the corridor links several important regional activity centers including providing improved transit access to Norfolk International Airport and Naval Station Norfolk.  A study conducted in 1999 identified this corridor as feasible for extending light rail to Naval Station Norfolk. High speed/high capacity transit in this corridor is further justified by the large number of workers who commute from Virginia Beach to Naval Station Norfolk.

Light Rail through Wards Corner

Light Rail through Wards Corner

The three closest proposed stations are located at Tidewater Drive, at Wards Corner, and on Torgerson Road (Meredith St near Terminal Blvd).  The Vision further suggests that the following steps be taken:

Update the Comprehensive Plan to include policies to specifically support Norfolk’s transit initiatives, including those along this corridor; and

Encourage moderate density residential development along this corridor.  Use existing policies and apply zoning designations used in other areas to achieve desired results.

Light rail is an extremely important issue to Wards Corner and Wards Corner Now will continue to track this issue.    Any redevelopment that is done now needs to be done with future light rail connections in mind.  Review the report yourself:  Transit Vision Plan for Hampton Roads.

Ward 1 Candidate Debates, Northside Civic League

March 29, 2010

The Northside Civic League will be hosting a debate of the Ward One City Council candidates on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 7PM.

Northside Civic League's Facebook post regarding Candidate Forum

Northside Civic League's Facebook post regarding Candidate Debate

The debate will be held at St. Matthias Hall at St. John Lutheran Church, 8918 Tidewater Drive.  The event is open to all.

AJ Lacy sentenced to 50 years for Denby Park murder

March 27, 2010
Alton Joe "A.J." Lacy

Alton Joe "A.J." Lacy

Alton Joe “AJ” Lacy was sentenced on Friday to 50 years in prison.   He received 20 years for second-degree murder, five years for the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and 25 years for probation violations.

Lacy, who is 30 years old, plead guilty in January to shooting Troy Booker on Fort Worth Avenue in the Denby Park neighborhood of Wards Corner.   The murder occurred on September 13, 2009.

This story was previously reported on by Wards Corner Now on September 13, 2009, September 18, 2009, and January 22, 2010.

Midtown Shopping Center assessed at $6,822,900

March 23, 2010
Midtown Shopping Center

Midtown Shopping Center

The Midtown Shopping Center at Wards Corner, also known as The Martone Property or The Dalis Property, is assessed by the City for $6,822,900.  It is zoned C3, it is 262ft from the nearest fire hydrant, and the property is 4.6 acres.

It has five (5) active code enforcement cases and the last follow-up inspection was July 23, 2009.  The property’s last public health code enforcement case was handled on January 10, 2008 based on a complaint of solid waste and rats.



Why is any of this information important enough to share with you?  Because it is all easily available on a new website provided by the City of Norfolk.  Visit the website for NorfolkAIR or Norfolk Address Information Resource.  It can be found at or in the links section on the right side of this website.

Explore the website and use it to stay informed.

Wards Corner Barber Shop featured

March 22, 2010
15 Barbers

15 Barbers, Courtesy Cindy Clayton-

The Virginian-Pilot has done a feature on the Wards Corner barber shop, 15 Barbers,  titled “Where were the good old days? They were here at Wards Corner Barber Shop“.

Barber Reggie Minnix worked at the shop for 20 years and owned it for the last 10. Minnix died last summer and left the shop to his children. His son, Dean Minnix, a land surveyor, and daughter, Stephanie Thornton, hope to sell the business to an entrepreneurial barber, like their father.

“Our biggest desire is that it remains a barber shop,” Minnix said. “We want it to keep the nostalgia it currently has.”

Minnix said he has a prospective buyer and is hopeful the business will remain.

A video is also posted here at

Joel Rubin to host City-wide Candidates Forum

March 22, 2010
Joel Rubin

Joel Rubin

The Norfolk Federation of Civic Leagues will be sponsoring a City – Wide Candidates Forum.  It will be held on April 8th at Granby High School in the Auditorium.  The event will run from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. but the doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

All candidates have been invited to participate.  All but three candidates have confirmed attendance.

The Forum will be moderated by Joel Rubin.  An email account has been set up for the submission of questions to be posed to the Ward and Mayoral Candidates.  Send all submissions to  When submitting your questions please indicate your Ward number.  Questions must be submitted no later than Friday March 26th.  Mr. Rubin will make the final decisions as to which questions will be used.

Wards Corner Now holds inaugural meeting

March 21, 2010

The inaugural meeting of Wards Corner was held on Saturday, March 20th, 2010. The initial meeting of Wards Corner Now drew twenty-five folks from a variety of neighborhoods across the Greater Wards Corner (GWC) area , Norfolk City Council members Barclay Winn and Theresa Whibley and candidate for the Ward One Council Seat, attorney,  Andrew Protogyrou.  The hour-long discussion touched on the following topics:

  • AJ Gators – Move to the old Wherehouse Music store location will bring significant upgrades to the property.  Plans are for AJ Gators’ old location to remain open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but closing early.
  • Walgreens’ ABC license application – By consensus restrictions should parallel those for neighboring competitor – no single container sales.
  • Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan – Continue to place emphasis on addressing the issues in Denby Park while maintaining an eye on the additional plan areas of Titustown and the Wards Corner Business District.
  • Additional issues from individuals and civic leagues – safety concerns, illegal signage, school redistricting
  • Norfolk Address Information Resource – The link is on the Wards Corner Now site.  Norfolk AIR provides information on individual properties throughout the city.

Wards Corner Now will be focused positively on making a difference in GWC and meetings will continue to elicit concerns from civic leagues, businesses, churches, schools and individuals and providing support for moving forward with the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  The topics for the next 2 meetings are:

April 17 – Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center and planned development

May 15 – Light rail

Wards Corner – Great American Cleanup

March 19, 2010

Great American CleanupCome join neighbors and local businesses as we come together to have fun and kick off the Wards Corner chapter of the GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP!

Mark your calendar:

Saturday, March 27th

8:30 am – 11:30 am.

8:30-9am – Check-in at North Shore Sports & Physical Therapy, 7419 Granby St. (at Wards Corner, next to ATC Fitness) for registration, coffee, and breakfast goodies.
9:00-11:30am – Clean our Corner! Safety vests, gloves, trash bags & water provided.
11:30am – Return to North Shore Sports & Physical Therapy to check-out & receive gifts of appreciation.
RSVP – Call Laura at 489-5820. See ya there!

“Wards Corner Now” kicks off its inaugural meeting this Saturday March 20th at 8:30 am

March 17, 2010




Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center Saturday,
March 20, 2010
8:30 am


• Opening remarks: Where we’ve been and, more importantly, where we are going!
• Update AJ Gator information
• Outline Walgreens issue
• Gather concerns/issues from Greater Wards Corner citizens (civic leagues, churches, schools, businesses, and individuals)
• Closing: Identify next topics/action items, provide link for Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan

   Everyone is Welcome.
Light breakfast to be served
We look forward to seeing you there!

Ward One Candidates’ Forum Tuesday, March 16th

March 15, 2010

Talbot Park Civic League will be holding a Ward One Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, March 16th, 7:00 pm at the Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6900 Newport Avenue. Candidates Andy Protogyrou, Barbara Saunders and Chuck Brewer will be participating.

The format will be a basic one: Each candidate will answer a few questions about their priorities for Ward 1, the city of Norfolk, their experience and explain why they are qualified to represent the citizens of Ward One.

All are invited to attend.

Bon Secours Depaul plans $18.1 million outpatient cancer center

March 8, 2010

Pilot-Online is reporting, Bon Secours Hampton Roads is planning to build two multi million-dollar outpatient cancer centers in Hampton Roads. One will be located at its Habour View campus in Suffolk and the other will be at its Depaul Medical Center Campus in Norfolk.


Both 30,000 -square-foot centers would focus on radiation treatment. They also would provide additional services for cancer patients, such as space for support group meetings and rooms for talks with financial counselors, said Lynne Zultanky, a company spokeswoman.

Bon Secours has applied to the state health department for permission to move its licenses for certain radiation therapy equipment from its Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth to these locations.

A public hearing on the requests is scheduled for Tuesday at the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake.

 Bon Secours has already gotten permission to build a new $200 million dollar, 124 bed  hospital at its present DePaul site.

Bon Secours gets approval to replace DePaul Medical Center

March 4, 2010
DePaul Medical Center

DePaul Medical Center

We received a Press Release from Bon Secours announcing that it has gotten its Certificate of Public Need (COPN) from the State Health Commissioner allowing it to replace the current DePaul Hospital with a new, 124-bed hospital.

“Plans call for the new 300,000 square foot, $200 million facility to be located on the current hospital site at 150 Kingsley Lane in Norfolk; …”

See the full Press Release below:

Hampton Roads’ First Community Hospital Gains Approval to Become the Newest Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center Approved for New 124 Bed Hospital

Norfolk, Va. (March 04, 2010) – Bon Secours Virginia Health System announced today that the Virginia Deputy State Health Commissioner has issued a certificate of public need (COPN) to replace the existing Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center with a 124-bed, state-of-the-art, full-service hospital.

“We are pleased that the Deputy Commissioner has approved our plan to build a new Bon Secours DePaul,” said Peter J. Bernard, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “As we plan for and look ahead to the new DePaul, Bon Secours will remain committed to growing our programs and services, and providing exceptional, personalized care.”

The COPN for the new DePaul authorizes:
• 124 acute-care beds which will include:
o Intensive care unit
o Obstetrical unit
o Full-service emergency department
o Operative suites
o Advanced imaging center, to include MRI and CT
o Cardiac catheterization
o Radiation therapy services
o Lithotripsy

Plans call for the new 300,000 square foot, $200 million facility to be located on the current hospital site at 150 Kingsley Lane in Norfolk; the COPN proposes completion in late 2014. As the health system prepares for the opening, there will be opportunities for the community to support the building of a new DePaul with philanthropic efforts.

“Our vision for the new Bon Secours DePaul reflects what we have learned from the community, this is a real win for the people of Hampton Roads as well as for Bon Secours,” said Michael K. Kerner, CEO, Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System. “DePaul has nearly a 154-year long legacy of serving the region with passion and purpose. A new hospital would enable us to continue this work for many years to come.”

Barbara Saunders to kick off her campaign for Ward One City Council seat on March 14th

March 3, 2010

 Barbara Saunders will kick off her campaign for the Ward One Council seat  being vacated by the retiring Councilman Don Williams  on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at the Ocean View Baptist Church Social Hall located at 9504 Selby Place. There are presently three other candidates vying for the Ward One Council Seat, Attorney Andy Protogyrou, retired police officer Chuck Brewer and Ocean View artist, Paul Trice.

Is the tide changing for Wards Corner?

March 2, 2010

The following is an article written by Jim English, president of the Wards Corner Civic League.
Jim English
Is the tide changing for Wards Corner? Are we finally starting to get the needed attention from City Hall and City Council? Well to begin let me share with you the below quote taken from Mayor Paul Fraim’s State of the City Address given in early February of this year.

“More than $13 million has been invested in the Greater Wards Corner area since approval of the Comprehensive Plan.  Last year, police presence and code enforcement activities were stepped up, surveillance cameras installed in Denby Park, and a neighborhood watch begun with 60 residents participating.  As a result, violent crime in Wards Corner dropped 35% and property crime 6%.

Three residential rehabilitation programs were begun for Denby Park, Oakdale Farms and Monticello Village to assist residents in upgrading their homes.  The programs were so successful that within six months, the first $1 million was committed to 21 homeowners.  Another $1 million was committed this fiscal year to assist 40 homeowners, and there’s already a waiting list for next year.

On the commercial side, the department of development is in active discussions with major property owners in the heart of the Wards Corner business district, and we expect new development opportunities to be identified later this year.”

While we could argue that the points mentioned above were a part of the overall funding to neighborhoods city wide, nonetheless this year’s address marked the first time that Wards Corner was mentioned in several paragraphs and not just in a fleeting sentence in the Mayor speech. That’s progress. While I know we have always been on the radar screen (although even though it may only have been a small blip) maybe this is indicative of a turning point for Wards Corner.

Mayor Fraim has now opened his campaign headquarters in our Civic League area at the corner of Maycox Ave. and Granby Street (in the old Cleaners store). I may be wrong but I don’t ever remember a time when any person running for elected office located their headquarters in the Wards Corner area, at least not those running for city council. Is this a sign of a changing attitude toward Wards Corner? Or is this only a political move to get our vote? I want to believe it represents a changing view of the importance of Wards Corner as a gateway to Downtown. Our area represents a strong, solid and important voting block in city elections. In addition to this, Mayor Fraim will hold his kickoff campaign reelection party at the Hellenic Center in Wards Corner. Is this yet another indication of our importance!?

We have four candidates running for election to fill the council seat in Ward 1. Three of those candidates have mentioned that Wards Corner is a priority for them and one even lives in our Greater Wards Corner area. Are they running on the Wards Corner issue to get our vote or are they sincere? I don’t know about two of them but I know and believe one of them. Andy Protogyrou has mentioned that he wants to be an advocate and champion for Wards Corner. I believe him and I have endorsed him as the best candidate for Ward 1 and Wards Corner. I usually don’t endorse candidates but I am doing so this year for this election because it is so important for our area.
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