Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
Guest Speakers: April Boger, Director of the Colonial Unit of the Boys and Girls Club
John Cline, of the Downtown Norfolk Council
NEXT BOARD MEETING will be April 21, 2003, at 7:00 pm.
DEADLINE for the May issue is Tuesday, April 29, 2003.
THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - Guest Speakers: April Boger, Director of the Colonial Unit of the Boys and Girls Club and John Cline, of the Downtown Norfolk Council
April is here, Daylight Saving Time has begun and the grass is growing faster than we like. That means it’s time to make sure the lawnmowers are in shape for another season. While in the garage moving “unneeded stuff” to get the mower out, don’t forget about the “Clean up the Neighborhood” event scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2003. We’ll have large dumpsters available for all the “stuff” that’s been accumulating all winter. It would be nice if you know an elderly person in the neighborhood needing assistance, if you would offer to help them get rid of their “stuff” before the 26th. If you need more information or would like to volunteer to help out call Audrey Webb at 623-1197.
April is also “Pothole Repair Month” and the City of Norfolk’s Division of Streets and Bridges needs your help. They are asking citizens to report potholes they see on a public street within Norfolk’s city limits. You can reach the Division of Streets and Bridges by phone at 823-4050, or send electronic mail to email@example.com or use the Department of Public Works’ automated Report-A-Pothole service by accessing the web site www.norfolk.va.us/publicworks/streets.htm.
Many of the facilitators from our Charette met recently to start the process of compiling some of the massive amounts of information and results acquired during the event. There will be lots of work to go around so I hope everybody will be ready to share some of the load as special projects develop.
In closing, I think it more than appropriate with both Passover and Easter this month to keep all of our troops in your prayers. These heroic Americans are miles away from home doing a dangerous job so we can celebrate these Holidays. So if you know any of your neighbors that are in the military and separated from their families at this time, please ask them if there is anything you can do to give them a hand. Your kindness will be greatly appreciated!
See you at our next meeting!
At the April meeting we will have two speakers. April Boger, the Director of the Colonial Unit of the Boys and Girls Club of South Hampton Roads (housed at the Stuart Early Childhood Center) will provide an update on the Unit, and John A. Cline will present information about the Downtown 100 (DT100) and the Downtown Norfolk Council (DNC). The DNC, a privately funded organization, is dedicated to creating a clean, vibrant and prosperous Downtown where all people can live, work and play. The DNC also manages and administers the Business Improvement District (BID) which is completely funded by the businesses in the Downtown District. This BID encompasses 48 city blocks. The Clean teams (with their teal colored “litter gitters”) and the uniformed Public Safety Ambassadors are funded through the BID. The DT100, an organization under the umbrella of the DNC, has a membership of 100 motivated and civic-involved people who live and/or work in the Downtown District. The DT100 is completely a volunteer organization. The Speaker’s Bureau of the DT100 is committed to spreading the word about the renaissance and resurgence of Downtown Norfolk. John Cline, a Charter Member of the DT100, is an Architectural and Structural Designer who lives in the Winona section of Norfolk. A graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (BFA), he provides facility design services for NASA Langley (new buildings, building additions, wind tunnels, and other structures). He is also a single parent of a 10-year-old daughter.
Due to the excessive rain and bad weather we have had this winter, we haven't been able to continue with our work on the kiosk bulletin board in the park. Just as soon as the weather dries out and the kiosk wood is dry we will be able to continue with construction. We will also be painting the kiosk to match the colors of the new Historic Neighborhood signs. It has been decided to name our dog park the Gold Star Dog Park. When we first opened we passed out yellow dog tags to help identify our park. I have spoken with other Civic League members at other areas of the city who are trying to fence their dog park areas and they will continue with the star shape dog tags, but with other colors to identify their areas.
An offer has been made by Bill and Kathryn Higgins to donate and plant plugs of St.Augustine grass which should add durability to the lawn area. If they need help let's all pitch in and help. I would like to thank Kathy Stevens for her donation of four trees (2 elm and 2 mimosa) which have already been planted in the dog park. They should provide some wonderful summertime shade. I have been informed that new lights will be installed in the dog park, including moving the light located in the center of the park. However, a problem has come up concerning the placement of a light at the entrance of the park. Cement foundation slabs from a previous home at this location were found about twelve inches down and it may be impossible to drill through them to install a light. Hopefully, we can find a solution.
We would also like to pour a concrete slab around the base of the kiosk to stand on while reading the bulletin board. Is there anyone out there who could donate the use of a small cement mixer and/or their expertise in doing this for us?
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has sent contributions to the dog park fund. This allows us to continue to pay for improvements to our park. For anyone who would like to contribute, please send donations to: The Dog Park Fund, c/o the CPRV Civic League, P.O. Box 6130, Norfolk, Va. 23508.
There’s an abundance of news to report on Granby Street this month. After barely a year at their current location (between The Riverview Coffee Parlor and The Garden Gate), Everafter Blooms, Boutiques and Botanicals has outgrown their space. Owners Patrice Dupuis and Rebecca Howard naturally wanted to remain in Riverview Village. Munden’s Antiques, after many years in Norfolk, is retiring and closing shop at the foot of the Granby Street Bridge. Patrice and Rebecca are taking a leap across the street to a location quadruple their current size. This exciting move will also involve a name change. So look for Bloom to sprout in the Munden’s location. In addition to the dried and live floral arrangements Bloom will have an expanded gift line. The garage/shed behind Munden’s will be razed and additional parking will be added.
You may have seen several stretch limos in the vicinity of Mary Barnett’s. You may have assumed that members of the rich and famous had dropped by to pick up a few gifts. While that may be true, the more likely explanation is that the former Riverview Cabinet shop has become the headquarters for Commonwealth Limousine Service. Manager, Donald Wheeler, has several 10-passenger limos available for proms, weddings and any special occasion. Commonwealth was previously located downtown. They can be reached at 625-5803.
One of our pioneer business owners, Ronn Ives of Future Antiques, is one 14 individuals featured in the book Better Homes and Gardens: The New Classic Style. Over 30 pages of the book are devoted to the interior of Ronn and his wife Pat’s home and of course mentions Futures. Futures came into being when Ronn’s personal collection outgrew his house and Riverview Village became the home of an eclectic business.
Several members of the Riverview Village Business Association decided to respond to the community’s request of “When is something going to be done about the 7Eleven? I won’t go in there anymore.” 7Eleven agreed to meet with city and business representatives to discuss how to improve the store. As a result of that meeting which included district and regional representatives, 7Eleven has joined both the Midtown Commercial Revitalization Task Force and the RVBA. Since our initial meeting, a new manager, Irving Walker, has been placed in the store; several potential drug paraphernalia items have been removed from the shelves and additional security features have been added. Thus far 7Eleven has been very responsive to the community’s concerns. The business association also requested the removal of “super-sized single servings” (40 ounces) but this change has not been made and 7Eleven is still experimenting with the store’s product mix. The RVBA is drafting a letter to corporate headquarters requesting that the large marquee sign be replaced with a more pedestrian friendly sign more in keeping with the recent aesthetics of Riverview Village.
It was a pleasure to attend the most recent Task Force meeting and note that partnerships have not only been forged between the city and businesses but also among the businesses themselves. Property owner Deborah Williams reiterated her commitment to only placing businesses that will help the business district as a whole. Rebecca Howard publicly acknowledged and thanked Deborah for her help in finding a larger location for Everafter/Bloom within Riverview Village. Although Deborah was losing a tenant, she was thrilled to see a business prosper so quickly. Patrice, while expanding the shop’s gift line, was quick to note that her inventory will not be in direct competition with Mary Barnett‘s. Mary ‘s rental to the limousine business was also well considered. As a service business, Commonwealth will have a low impact on the neighboring businesses and residents in terms of parking and noise. The business community is now focused on how to make the pie bigger for all. And speaking of pie, make that pizza pie…
The oldest Riverview Village business, the Veneziano Restaurant, is now open for lunch Friday through Monday. Be sure to stop by and take in the old world ambiance and authentic Italian food at the Veneziano.
You should soon be noticing a few physical improvements on Granby Street. The “brick” crosswalks (stamped to look like brick) are scheduled to be installed this spring at several Riverview Village locations. The 30-foot flagpoles should be in place at the foot of the bridge by Willow Wood Drive within the next month and we should soon be greeted by “a montage of mermaids celebrating life daily” as one heads into Riverview Village. For a preview check out Waterside Drive.
It is an exciting spring in Riverview Village. Take a stroll along Granby Street, visiting old and new businesses, while you shop the neighborhood first.
The daffodils surrounding the historic designation signs in Colonial Place and Riverview have brightened local spirits dampened by all the rain our area has received lately. We’d like to keep those areas looking cheerful. It’s particularly important since the landscaped areas surrounding the signs are in very visible locations. To keep them looking great, regular maintenance is key. Norfolk always poses the same question to all communities adding landscaped areas to their neighborhood. What is your plan to maintain the landscape?
A small work force of city employees valiantly tries to maintain green spaces throughout Norfolk. The city owns one watering truck. As you are aware, volunteers perform many important functions throughout the community. Fund raising, organizing, planning and implementing projects, writing articles, presiding at meetings, and establishing a dog park are some of the many things neighborhood volunteers have done well. That brings me to my next two points. Trees and other plantings throughout our two communities have died during dry spells. Weeds thrive in our green areas until we call the city and their employees spend the small amount of time they have to pull the larger, more prominent weeds up.
That is why the Beautify Our Borders Committee (BOB) has come up with an alternative solution. We’re proposing a partnership with the Tanner’s Creek Gardening Center to maintain the three landscaped areas around the historic designation signs. The gardening center is our neighbor and employs folks whom we could provide a helping hand to as they provide a service to us. A one-year maintenance contract with them would include bimonthly (twice a month) pruning, removal of weeds, leaves and trash, edging, and twice yearly fertilization for a cost of $1200.00. Watering the plantings as needed is an additional cost of $21.00 per hour for this service. The proposal put forth by the BOB Committee and supported by the board is to allocate $1500.00 of league funds to engage this service. That amount covers the maintenance contract plus additional funds to procure watering services if needed. You are invited to vote on this at the April membership meeting. If you vote yes, part of your membership fee will pay for maintaining these beds. You will actually see your money working for the benefit of the community. How many of us today can say that our money is working hard for us? Call it one more reason to invest in and join the league.
This is just the beginning of beautifying the borders in our communities. The BOB Committee is discussing additional plans, both big and small. Join us at our next meeting to be held Wednesday night, on April 23rd, at 7pm, at 4213 Gosnold Avenue. Call me at 640-8938 for information.
The Colonial place Circus Arts Club was formed two years ago for the dual purposes of learning silly circus skills and having fun with other people of like mind. Since then we have entertained at the Art Walk, the opening of the Ted Constant Convocation Center and Holidays in the City pre-parade. We have swapped skills with clowns from the ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. We have been the focus of two articles in the Virginian Pilot. Are we famous yet?
This has opened a few additional entertainment opportunities for us. We have openings for clowns, acrobats, jugglers, unicycle riders, children who like to act like animals and Chinese Lion dancers. If you want to join the circus but don’t already have these skills, we would love to help you learn. Circus stars are big show offs. If you don’t think you can learn, know that we can teach klutzes to juggle and dancers to stilt walk.
We are looking for a teenager or adult who is willing to serve as our Ringmaster. This individual should be outgoing, have a strong voice and be prone to hyperbole. We will supply the snazzy coat and hat. We are also looking for a volunteer who is willing to teach us basic cheer leading skills (tumbling and jumps). We need individuals who are willing to work behind the scenes building props, sewing costumes, choosing music, etc.
If you can help us or just want to see what we are all about, come to one of our fun practice sessions. We currently meet on Sunday, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at 520 Connecticut Avenue, weather permitting. We have no membership fees and membership is open to teens, adults and children from any neighborhood or city.
Like all non-profit organizations, we have a wish list. Gym mats, spotting belts, kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards, bicycle helmets, bicycle pumps and flower sticks are among some of the items we need. If you can donate or help us to obtain any of these items, please contact Sandi Caldwell at SsandiC@cs.com or 622-4755. We accept recycled equipment
Please mark your calendars for this year's Spring event on Saturday, April 26 from 10 am until noon. Dumpsters will be placed in the parking lot of the Haven Creek Boat Ramp, in the Circle where Newport and Rhode Island meet, Mayflower across from O'Sullivan's and the vacant lot behind the Subway at Columbus and 42nd Street. Blair and Maury students will assist us with Haven Creek and Knitting Mill Creek.
The City requires that all items be placed in the dumpsters and not left outside, with the exception of tires which may be placed to the side. PLEASE, no hazardous materials such as paint or garden chemicals.
The SPSA Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is located at 3135 Woodland Avenue, Norfolk behind the SPCA at Ballentine and Virginia Beach Boulevards. The facility is open every second Saturday of the month from 9 am until noon and every fourth Wednesday of the month from 9 am until noon.
Colonial Place and Riverview are proud to be part of Keep America Beautiful.
Abandoned shopping carts are a continuing problem in Norfolk and can make a neighborhood look blighted. In response to community concern, the City has started an Abandoned Shopping Cart Hotline that citizens may call and Public Works will arrange to retrieve the carts. Please call 664-6510 to report these neighborhood nuisances. (Allow 48 hours for pick-up.)
The Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
P.O. Box 6130
Norfolk, VA 23508
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