Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

November 2004

             Guest Speaker, Paul Fraim, Mayor of the City of Norfolk and City Council Representative for Ward 2

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, November 8, 2004, 7:00 pm, Stuart Center, 411 Virginia Avenue. Use cafeteria entrance at school parking lot.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be Monday, November 15, 2004, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the December issue is Tuesday, November 30, 2004.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - Paul Fraim, Mayor or the City of Norfolk and City Council Representative for Ward 2, will speak.

President's Notes
Andy Wallach

Thank you residents of Riverview and Colonial Place. You are on a roll. Vice President Steve Earnhart's "3rd District Dialogue" drew a great turnout. ODU professor and CPRV resident Glenn Sussman’s deft handling of the candidates ensured a thought-provoking dialogue that highlighted differences between the two Congressional candidates. WAVY Channel 10 showed an excerpt and The Virginian-Pilot had both an article and an editorial on the meeting. Our state delegate, Kenneth Alexander, who attended both this meeting and the previous month’s meeting, mentioned his admiration for our civic involvement, stating that CPRV residents contact his office more than those of any other community.

The CPRV sixth annual Front Porch Art Walk was a tremendous success with 29 artists participating and hundreds of viewers. Thank you Theresa Nock and Kristin Bourcier for coordinating this event that adds so much to our neighborhood. Our City Councilman and Mayor Paul Fraim will make a presentation and take questions at our November 8th meeting. This is a chance for you to have the Mayor focus on the issues that concern you most. Please demonstrate your interest in CPRV and Norfolk by attending. Our December meeting will be a Holiday Party for you and your children. We are planning new events and more food.

We welcome Amy Fant as our new Community Improvement Committee Chairwoman and thank Kathy Stark for her great leadership as previous Chairwoman. Malcolm Martin has reinvigorated our Crime Prevention Committee but he needs more help, especially Neighborhood Watch block captains in Colonial Place. It is not difficult and does not involve much time … so volunteer. Dominion Power has assured Stephanie Gray that our recurring power interruptions, attributed to a nick in a cable that runs under the Granby Street bridge, are over.

We appreciate Tony Collins and Richard Levin for including us in the planning phase for their proposed condominium building for the vacant “Christmas tree lot” at 4200 Granby Street. They presented preliminary drawings at the October CPRV Board meeting. The board voted in support of using the site for condominiums and to support re-zoning for condominiums if they request it. Our Riverview Liaison, David Spriggs, is coordinating communications between the Civic League and the developer.

Crime Prevention
Malcolm Martin

The Crime Prevention Committee can more easily warn you of crime trends if you subscribe to the CPRV listserve. The listserve enables residents to share information about neighborhood concerns, and the current subscribers do a good job of keeping it free of product advertisements. The process of subscribing has been made very simple: sign on to and click on the “CPRV Email List” link on the homepage.

The police have added the phone numbers of about twenty of us to their autodial system, the purpose of which is to provide a warning in case a pattern of crimes occurs in CPRV – burglaries or car thefts, etc. When the police identify such a pattern, they will contact everyone on the list and provide them with whatever information is available, such as a description of the suspects, times at which the crimes are occurring, methods used by the suspects, etc. If you wish to be added to the autodial list, please send your full name, address, phone number and e-mail address to

Crime Prevention Committee Tip of the Month: By law, cars must be parked at least fifteen feet from corners and fire hydrants, and must not be parked in such a way as to block the sidewalks. Keeping the corners and sidewalks clear makes it easier to detect suspicious activity on the street. It makes the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly, which also makes the neighborhood safer.

The next Crime Prevention Committee meeting is on Monday, November 29, at 6:30pm, at the Stuart Center cafeteria. It is open to anyone who has an interest in preventing crime in CPRV.

Contact Malcolm Martin at or 624-9708 for information about committee activity and CPRV Neighborhood Watch.

Fraim-ing the Issues in November!
Steve Earnhart

Please join us for our November CPRV civic league meeting (Nov. 8th, 7 p.m., Stuart Center) when we will have a chance to hear from and discuss issues with Mayor Paul Fraim, our City Council Representative for Ward 2. Mayor Fraim will have a chance to talk about City Council actions past, present and future, and following his presentation, will take your questions. This is a very important meeting for all the residents of CPRV and I strongly encourage you to make this meeting. Please bring your questions and ideas. See you there!

Community Improvement Committee Has New Chairperson
Kathy Startk

It's been rewarding working these past five years as the Community Improvement Chair for Colonial Place and Riverview. My friends and neighbors have worked alongside me to create a great neighborhood that we're all proud to call home. There's more to be done, however.

I am pleased to announce my newly appointed successor as Community Improvement Chair, Amy Fant-Tanana, a Norfolk native who recently relocated back to Riverview and resides at the corner of 39th Street & Holly Avenue.

Amy has displayed a genuine interest in the betterment of our neighborhood through her recent work on the Crime Prevention Committee. She feels this new position will provide her an opportunity to build new relationships with her neighbors, expand her knowledge of community issues, and fulfill a civic duty.

Amy is dedicated to maintaining the historical qualities and aesthetics of our tight-knit community. She firmly believes the prosperity of CPRV relies on the hard work of its people, committed to its survival.

Please get to know Amy and offer your assistance to take this community to an even higher level of excellence. You may contact Amy by e-mail or telephone 228-5601.

What's Up at CPRV.ORG
Jeanne Ullian

Last month's article should have been titled "What's NOT up at" Despite a server glitch that affected the web site and email list, we had two very successful events in the neighborhood--The Sixth Annual Front Porch Art Walk and the Third District Dialogue. A few photos from the Art Walk are now up as well as a list of the participating artists.

Dave Spriggs has provided one more mystery photo for the year. See if you can find the "now" version

A Tree For Michael
Ann Fitzgibbon

If you’ve wandered past our corner of the Lafayette River lately, at the corner of Gosnold and Mayflower, you’ve probably noticed a new addition to our waterfront--a recently planted live oak tree (Quercus virginiana). The tree was a gift to our community from the Elizabeth River Project, dedicated in loving memory to my late husband, Michael, who served as Secretary of the ERP Board of Directors. The Elizabeth River Project is a non-profit environmental group dedicated to restoring the Elizabeth River and her tributaries (including the Lafayette River) to the highest practical level of environmental health.

Planted with the permission and assistance of the City of Norfolk, Michael’s live oak (as I’ve come to call it) is an infant compared to the older live oaks that grow along our waterfront. A stately member of the oaks family, the live oak stays green all year, hence the origin of the name. Live oaks are very slow growing, especially in our region, one of the northernmost areas where they are native and can thrive. If left alone, live oaks can live for hundreds of years During the winter months its acorns are a vital resource when food is scarce. Wood ducks, blue jays, redheaded woodpeckers, squirrels and chipmunks are among the animals that rely on the live oak to survive the cold season.

The live oak has a wide canopy, which provides a wonderful respite from our Tidewater summer sun, and has an extensive root system that expands beyond the tree’s canopy and diminishes soil erosion. It is a hearty species, resistant to disease and pests. But because live oaks are slow growing and require a great deal of space, they are seldom used in urban landscaping plans. In fact, though they plant and replace thousands of trees each year, the city plants very few live oaks.

The Elizabeth River Project has given our community a generous gift in Michael’s tree, as did the City of Norfolk with their support and assistance. On behalf of our family, I want to thank publicly the board and staff of the Elizabeth River Project and the City of Norfolk for such a loving gift to honor my Michael. My wish for Michael’s live oak is the same as Michael’s wish for our community, that it grow and thrive for all the years to come!

City Trees

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The trees along this city street,
Save for the traffic and the trains,
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.
And people standing in their shade
Out of a shower, undoubtedly
Would hear such music as is made
Upon a country tree.
Oh, little leaves that are so dumb
Against the shrieking city air,
I watch you when the wind has come, --
I know what sound is there.

This poem, "City Trees," by Edna St. Vincent Millay, was read at the dedication ceremony for Michael's live oak, October 11th. Ms. Millay is one of America's great poets, but she was special to Michael and me for another reason. She first shared her poetry -- as a teenager -- in the lobby of the Whitehall Inn in Camden, Maine, where she worked in the dining room. The same Whitehall Inn where Michael and I were married 18 years ago, and the same Camden, Maine, where we returned each October of our married life. (My thanks to the editor of the CPRV Community News for this personal indulgence.)
- Ann Fitzgibbon

Utility Work Comes to the Neighborhood
Melanie Pesola

The City of Norfolk is working toward improving sewer service in neighborhoods across Norfolk, including Colonial Place and Riverview. Recently, the Department of Utilities completed a major sewer system cleaning project in Riverview. During late September, wastewater crews thoroughly cleaned all 9,000 linear feet of sewer pipe serving Riverview. This effort removed pounds of debris that builds up on pipe walls over time and obstructs normal sewage flow. With freshly cleaned pipes, residents of Riverview should enjoy improved sewer system reliability.

City crews are also in the process of installing rain-stopper manhole inserts in 31 neighborhood manhole covers to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the sewer system. In times of heavy rains, such as we experienced this summer, rainwater can surcharge the sewer system, making less room for sewage to flow freely through pipes. The rain stopper inserts will also help improve wastewater service reliability.

Norfolk's Department of Utilities is beginning an engineering study of the sewer system in Colonial Place. This evaluation will allow the City to fully assess the sewer conditions and options for future improvement projects. Once the study is complete, Utilities representatives will provide an update to the community on the findings. If you ever experience a water or sewer-related emergency, call 823-1000 anytime day or night. The Norfolk Department of Utilities is at your service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For non-emergency Utilities questions or questions related to HRUBS bills, call 664-6700.

Live the Arthurian Fantasy
Sandi Caldwell

The Backyard Circus Guild is looking for actors and actresses to interpret characters from the legend of King Arthur. Lancelot, Galahad, Elaine, Morgana and other Knights of the Round Table and their ladies are some of the roles open. We also need a magician to impersonate Merlin. This is a one-time volunteer acting engagement that will look great on your resume. We can provide costumes and assistance with preparing your character. This engagement is in late January. If interested, contact Sandi Caldwell at, 361-9633 during working hours, or 622-4755 before 10PM. Check out the Guild at

The Holidays Come to CPRV
Steve Earnhart

December is just around the corner, so grab your calendar now and mark the date for a very special CPRV “Holiday Celebration” on Monday, December 13th (7 p.m., Stuart Center). We are cordially inviting every CPRV resident to come out and share in some holiday cheer CPRV-style. Join us for an evening that will be fun for every member of the family (young and old) as we eat pizza, share desserts and listen to holiday tales from around the world as told to us by Mrs. Lynn Ruehlmann, nationally-known professional storyteller and CPRV resident. We will also be collecting canned foods for the Dwelling Place and signing cards for U.S. Service members overseas.

Please bring your family, a plate of desserts to share and a canned goods donation. We plan to make this a family-oriented night that is merry and bright. We will dispense with the regular civic league meeting business and spend the time socializing and listening to the stories of Mrs. Ruehlmann. For more information on our featured artist, please visit her website

COMMUNITY NEWS is produced by:

              The Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
              P.O. Box 6130
              Norfolk, VA 23508

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Community News Editor:   Kelly Sorensen, Phone 622-0437
Community News Distribution:   Margaret Bright, Phone 627-2815
Advertising:   Kelly Sorensen, Phone 622-0437

Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Kelly Sorensen
              Phone: 622-0437

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