Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

April 2001

                           We're Losing Blair Middle School

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING: Monday, April 9, 2001, 7:00 pm, Stuart Center, 411 Virginia Avenue. Use cafeteria entrance at school parking lot.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Discussion of Norfolk's redistricting of middle schools and how it will affect us. The league will vote a position - Monthly reports - Nominating committee to be named

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be April 16, 2001, at 7:00 pm, 710 Georgia Avenue.

DEADLINE for the May issue is Tuesday, May 1, 2001.

Losing Blair Middle School... Lower Property Values?
David Block

If the proposed middle school zones shown in the Virginian-Pilot on April 2, 2001 are left unchanged, Colonial Place and Riverview middle school children will go to Lafayette Winona Middle School. My home phone starting ringing about 7:30 am on April 2, as parents realized what had happened without any input from our community. Even folks without school-aged children understand that the resale value of their homes is tied to the school district that serves their community. Rightly or wrongly, the perception of many is that Blair is superior to Lafayette Winona. Blair has been the neighborhood middle school for our community for more than 75 years. We cannot afford to sit idly by and allow a key piece of our community's value slip through our fingers. Years ago we lost our neighborhood elementary school. We cannot allow the loss of our neighborhood middle school. THIS IS AN ISSUE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!!

CALL TO ACTION: Contact our city leaders immediately to voice your opinion regarding this matter:
              Mayor Paul Fraim - 664-4679 or email: with a copy to
     (Mayor's secretary)
              Barclay Winn - 494-1400 or 494-1217, email:
              Norfolk Public Schools - 441-2237

Come to this month's civic league meeting. We will have a representative from Norfolk Public Schools available to answer our questions. We will have a discussion and a vote will be taken to determine the official league position. The league's position will be placed in letter-form and sent to the appropriate school board and city leaders.

Mark your calendar for another important date: Public Hearing, April 17, 7:00 pm, at Lafayette Winona Middle School, 1701 Alsace Ave. This public hearing will be an important opportunity for us to voice our opinion before the School Board votes on the final plan on April 25. It is critical that we bring a large contingent of supporters to the April 17th hearing. See you all on Monday April 9, 7:00 pm, and again Tuesday April 17, 7:00 pm.

Notes From The President
David Block

Can You Help Balance A Checkbook? The League Bylaws require that the Treasurer's books be audited (balanced) by an ad hoc committee of three league members. It would probably take a couple of hours. If you can balance your own checkbook then this is the job for you!! This is a great way for those of you with busy schedules to help your community at your own leisure. Call me David Block @ 624-1749 or Jeff Stark @ 640-8938.

Historic Designation Public Meeting April 30: The years of hard work are paying off. Jeff Stark and his loyal troops (You know who you are.) have done a wonderful job preparing our community for this "Historic Honor!" The folks from the National Historic Registry will be here to let us know everything about "Historic Designation" and what it means to our neighborhood. You should receive a notice via US Mail to attend the meeting to be held at the Stuart School Cafeteria (same place as regular League meetings) 7:00-8:30 pm on April 30, 2001. All are welcome to attend. See you there!!

Back Yard Tour
Ann Fitzgibbon

Have you ever peeked over a hedge trying to see what's in a neighbor's back yard? Have you ever wanted to see what's on the other side of someone else's gate? Well, the first Saturday in May, you'll have a chance.

It's the first (and we hope annual) Colonial Place and Riverview Back Yard Tour, a spring garden-variety event to match our fall Front Porch Art Walk.

Several of your neighbors in Colonial Place and Riverview will open their backyards so you can enjoy their creative landscaping and gardening skills. Spend a spring day in the neighborhood enjoying flowers, fountains, and friends.

The tour begins at the Knitting Mill Creek Community Garden, at Mayflower and Georgia, behind Fellini's Restaurant. The date is Saturday, May 5th, from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Tickets are only $5.00 and will be sold on the day of the tour at the Community Garden. Proceeds will support the Community Garden and the Civic League. For more information, call Ann Fitzgibbon at 628-8338 or Audrey Webb at 623-1197.


If you'd like to have your garden be part of the tour, there's still time to sign up. But call soon. We will send the tour brochure to the printer the last week in April. Call Ann Fitzgibbon at 628-8338 or Audrey Webb at 623-1197.

Membership Update
Bob Reardon

Need A Ride? - If you are 65 or older and would like a ride to a civic league meeting, please call any officer or committee chair listed on page two of the newsletter. We would like to assist seniors who want to come to meetings but don't want to drive at night.

Duplicate Membership Cards - Because of a miscommunication, some members received two cards upon renewal this year. Please disregard the second card if you received one.

Becky Kiser

Second Year For The Community Garden! Knitting Mill Creek Community Garden celebrates its birthday and Mayday this year on Saturday, May 5. It's a busy day all over the community, so our celebration is an evening potluck at 5:00 pm, at the garden. We will have music, a maypole dance, and other surprises.

There continues to be more progress at the site as creative people from the community donate time, lumber, seeds, plants, and imagination to the site. A walker in the area might notice new free-form beds, meandering paths, a new entrance off Fellini's parking lot, and a compost pile. Before long, there will be a nice shed. Plants should be beginning to appear any time. Already there have been some bulbs coming up!

New gardeners are always welcome. The garden is organic, and mostly communal. We grow plenty of veggies, with good neighbors and friends as an important by-product. Contact me, Becky Kiser, for more information - 627-7007.

Be Responsible With Your Dog
Jack Kennedy

When walking your dog in public places, please remove its droppings immediately. Puppies can be infected with a variety of parasites (including hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm) by walking in areas where contaminated dog feces are allowed to remain.

Complaints about irresponsible pet owners don't come just from those who don't own pets, they also come from responsible pet owners. Please clean up and keep everyone healthy!

Help Bulkhead Funding Continue
Wayne Johnson

The Civic League leadership is working with the City to ensure funding to keep the bulkhead replacement on schedule. But we need your help. Attached to the back of the printed newsletter, you will find a form letter composed by Kathy Stark. Please take a moment to address it, sign it, and mail it to the your Councilperson and/or City Manager, Ms. Regina Williams. Also, feel free to compose your own letter.

With so many demands on the City's limited resources, bulkhead funding could easily stop, as it has in the past. It is important for the City to receive many letters from the community if we want the bulkhead renovation to continue to completion.

Mail to your choice below: (City Council's Office Room, 1006 City Hall Bldg, 810 Union St, Norfolk, VA, 23510)
              The Honorable Mayor Paul Fraim
              Mr. Herbert Collins
              Ms. Daun Hester
              Mr. Conoly Phillips
              Mr. Paul Riddick
              Mr. Barclay Winn
              Mr. Randy Wright

              City Manager, Ms. Regina Williams (810 Union St, 1101 City Hall Building, Norfolk, VA, 23510)

Sample Letter for Bulkhead Bunding

April 9, 2001


As a resident of Colonial Place, I would like to thank you for committing the funds necessary to rehabilitate Phases 1A and 1B of the Colonial Place bulkhead rehabilitation project in fiscal years 2000 and 2001. I know that you are currently working on the budget for fiscal year 2002. As you work on the budget for the coming fiscal year, I would like you to include at least $500,000 for the next phase of the Colonial Place bulkhead rehabilitation project.

I realize that it isn't enough just to improve the quality of my community's homes alone. If our homes are to retain and increase in value, then the neighborhood needs to be improved as well. The bulkhead is an important infrastructure in our community. Indeed, it is a focal point. It frames the waterway surrounding our community. Many walk around the public greenway bordering the bulkhead, and it can be seen from Colley Avenue, a major thoroughfare. More and more recreational activities are beginning to develop along Knitting Mill Creek and the Lafayette River all the time.

With so many competing needs for City funding, why should you support continued funding for this project?

One - because the project has begun and needs to be completed within the scheduled time line set by the City. The City's projected completion date is 2007.

Two - because the residents, with the Colonial Place/Riverview Civic league, have been referred to by many in Norfolk as a very active and involved community. We've contributed to Norfolk's success by partnering with you on many projects that have benefited the business and residential communities within the City.

Three - we've been successful in improving our community's housing stock by partnering with you to conduct a house-to-house survey, retain a viable occupancy permit program, and maintain effective code enforcement.

Our neighborhood is considered to be a stable one by many. We've made many improvements; however, there are still more to be made. It wasn't long ago that our neighborhood would've been considered fragile. As history has shown, it doesn't take long for a community to change from being a stable to a fragile neighborhood. It takes a lot more resources to progress in the positive direction we have chosen to forge. That's why it's so important to see progress on the bulkhead rehabilitation project continue without interruption in fiscal year 2002.

I'm proud of the progress that I've witnessed in my community. Please assist us in retaining and attracting new residents to our neighborhood as well as the city by supporting us on the bulkhead rehabilitation project. Give us full funding for FY2002. We'll even take more than $500,000 if you want to see the project completed earlier than 2007 - I hear revenue projections have exceeded expectations.


COMMUNITY NEWS is produced by:

              The Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
              P.O. Box 6347
              Norfolk, VA 23508

              (757) 640-5555 extension 20943

              WEB PAGE:

Community News Editor:   Wayne Johnson, Phone 623-1078
Community News Distribution:   Margaret Bright, Phone 627-2815
Advertising:   Jeff Stark, Phone 640-8938

Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Wayne Johnson
              637 New Jersey Ave
              Norfolk, VA 23508


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