Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

September 2005

             Guest Speaker, Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Doyle, At This Month's Meeting

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, September 12, 2005, 7:00 pm, Stuart Center, 411 Virginia Avenue. Use cafeteria entrance at school parking lot.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be September 19, 2005, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the October issue is Tuesday, September 27, 2005.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - Guest speaker will be the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Doyle

President’s Notes
Andy Wallach

Unfortunately you will find this issue of the Community News heavily weighted toward combating crime. Recent crimes on the borders and within Colonial Place/Riverview necessitate this emphasis. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness depend on a safe environment. While the police have the responsibility for apprehending criminals, we all have the responsibility to make CPRV crime-free. A crime requires intent by the potential criminal and opportunity. We can work with the rest of the City to combat some of the social causes of crime such as: drugs, poverty, discrimination, lack of opportunity-- which cause intent. Eliminating intent is a long-term process. We can directly affect opportunity and can do so quickly. We will not tolerate crime. We will not be indifferent. We will not make it easy for the potential criminal. We will help our neighbors. Most criminals balance reward versus risk. Our job is to reduce the potential rewards while increasing the risk of apprehension so that criminals go elsewhere to apply their trade. Do not leave anything of value unattended. Lock your doors. Over the 17 years that my family has lived in Colonial Place we have been burglarized 5 times. Three of these times were preventable: rings on the dining room table (visible from an open front door), lawn mower and an extension ladder left out. No, we shouldn’t have to keep things locked up, but we must. Do not leave valuables in your automobile. Report all crimes. The police base their patrol coverage on the amount of reported crime. The greater the reported crime…the higher the police presence. Walk the neighborhood (serves two purposes - puts eyes on the streets and is good for your health). Report suspicious activity immediately. The word will get around quickly that CPRV is not an easy mark.

Crime, Public Safety & You
Civic League Meeting: Monday, September 12th, at Stuart Center School

Steve Earnhart

As of this writing (August 15th), 39 homicides have been committed in the City of Norfolk in 2005. For comparison’s sake, there were 35 homicides in all of 2004. Many of our neighbors have been the victims of burglaries, larcenies and door-to-door scams (involving bogus salespeople for home security systems and thieves posing as stranded motorists seeking help from AAA). The intention of this article is not to hype the already existent crime/public safety issue in and around CPRV, but to emphasize the need to be pro-active citizens. Sheila Janes has recently started a brainstorming group to examine what we in CPRV can do to improve the 38th & Colley intersection (scene of a recent murder). Malcolm Martin continues to lead the CPRV Crime Prevention Committee. Many of our residents (they know who they are) regularly drive or walk around the community for the express purpose of looking for signs of suspicious activity or criminal mischief. That said, please do not involve yourself in arresting suspects – call 911 if you see a crime or 441-5610 to report suspicious activity to the NPD non-emergency line. Our CPRV Community Email list (you can sign up at HYPERLINK: "") has been a very helpful medium to communicate and share information regarding recent criminal activity. Please consider getting involved with one of these efforts.

Another thing you can do to educate yourself about public safety in CPRV & Norfolk is to attend YOUR September CPRV Civic League meeting. Our guest speaker will be Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney, Jack Doyle. Mr. Doyle will be discussing the recent surge in violent crime in Norfolk and what steps his office is taking to prosecute all types of crime in our city. For those of us new to Virginia, the Commonwealth’s Attorney is the elected city prosecutor. Mr. Doyle will be taking your questions and comments. Please attend and bring your neighbors.

As a sneak preview for the months ahead, here are our plans for guest speakers/topics for the next couple of months:

As always, I am interested in suggestions for future guest speakers/programs. Drop me an email:

Kristin Bourcier

Planning for the 7th Annual Front Porch Art Walk is in full swing and we are very excited about this year's event. Look forward to more entertainment, more hospitality stops, and more art than ever! Artist registration ends October 1st, so if you haven't signed up yet, please do so. Applications may be picked-up from Bernstein's Gallery on Colley Avenue or from the Riverview Coffee Parlor on Granby Street, or may be obtained by contacting Kristin Bourcier through or 622-5324.  Volunteers are still needed, especially for manning the hospitality stations and advertising. Please let us know if you have even an hour to give on the day of the event to hand out maps and pour lemonade for folks traveling through our neighborhood. Thanks to all the people who have already signed up to bake cookies and help with advertising. This very special community event would not be possible without your support. Be sure to invite your friends, co-workers and family to this unique fine arts and crafts show on Sunday, October 9th, from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Flyers and posters will be available in mid-September with more details, so keep your eyes open at our local business for further information!

What’s up at:
Jeanne Ullian

Take Back Our Neighborhoods. This is your link to the recent activities of the Crime Prevention Committee in reaction to the increase in crime in our neighborhoods and surrounding community. If you cannot be "active" at this time at least try to be "alert." I will try to update this page (with a link off the home page of so that everyone with computer access can keep up on what's happening.

Jeanne Ullian

The famous black and white oval CPRV stickers will be available at the September meeting. Get one for each of the vehicles in your household--cars, bikes, trikes, and even wagons. Your entire donation of $2.50 per sticker goes into the CPRV treasury to help fund all the wonderful league activities throughout the year. If you can't make the meeting, order your stickers by mail. Better yet, get together and send in a group order with your neighbors. All you need to do is send a check, made payable to CPRV. Mail to: Jeanne Ullian, 4400 Mayflower Road, Norfolk, VA 23508.

Up From the Soil
Jim Hoffmaster, Tanner’s Creek Garden Center

Ahhh, the feel of autumn is in the air. Personally, I am a true-blue summer kind of guy, but I must say, after the summer of 2005, I am ready for cooler weather and I think most of you will agree. However, what most people seem to forget is, fall is THE BEST time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs.

Unlike annuals, perennials come back every year and they need a strong root system in order to maintain a healthy life-cycle. When we plant in the late spring or summer, the plant’s natural instinct is to put all of its energy into growing foliage and creating blooms. What it NEEDS to be doing is putting more energy into creating a strong foundation, known as ROOTS! In the warmer months, more “feeder” or shallow roots are being created and although these are very important, they do not do much to KEEP the plant established year round. The cooler months are when perennials, deciduous and evergreen plants and trees are creating new foundation roots so that they will become more established for the next season.

Fall or winter planting, with a good layer of mulch, means a better guarantee that these plants will survive. There is a fine line between not enough and too much water in the summer with new plants. Hence a lower guarantee rate. Now if I am paying $30.00 to $100.00 for a top-quality tree or shrub (and if you are paying much less than that, you are probably not getting the best) then I would want to plant it when I have the highest rate of survival. It isn’t always easy. We’re all conditioned to buy plants only when they are in full foliage or bloom. But it is actually better, and sometimes cheaper, to purchase these plants in the fall as they start to go dormant.

And finally, about watering. The key to all plant survival year round but especially in the winter is: GOOD DRAINAGE! If you plant your Flowering Quince, for example, in soil that does not drain well, meaning that the water stands on the surface for any length of time, IT WILL DIE! Plants need less water in winter and when the soil is wet and cold, it takes longer to dry. If it stays wet and soggy all winter, the roots that are desperately trying to form will rot. So please be careful where you are placing your new perennials, trees and shrubs.

So be a “smart” gardener (and shopper) and do some fall perennial and tree planting for a lower-maintenance landscape that will last for years to come. If you have any questions, feel free to come up to the Garden Center or drop me an e-mail at:

A Neighborhood Response to Recent Crime
Chris Casnelli

Neighbors responding to the shock of a random drive-by shooting on 38th Street this past month that killed one man and injured 3 others (two children) has prompted an effort to come up with some solutions. The corner of Colley Avenue and 38th Street has been an eyesore for several years now, specifically the apartments behind the 7-Eleven, the apartments across from the post office, as well as across from the church. Some of these areas have been boarded up and are not contributing to the area. While a cleaned-up area wouldn't necessarily prevent the random and senseless act of a drive by shooting, it could send a signal that this isn't a run-down, blighted area to hang out and cause trouble in. The senseless act of violence and the escalation of crime in our city means something must be done.

Posts on the CPRV Mailing List set the stage for further dialogue on this issue. Neighbors want to see a change and are willing to work to come up with a solution! A meeting was called, crime stories were shared, and ideas were thrown out. Officer Routon, our PACE Officer, was there to discuss the crime issues and to share his report on the area. Apparently, there were some recent evictions in the area and patrols have been stepped up in response to the shooting. Andy Wallach and I found out from walking the area that the two apartment buildings on Colley Avenue directly across from the church are changing from buildings with five apartments each to buildings with 2 condos each. This project is planned to be completed within the next several months. We also found one apartment building on 38th Street to be boarded up and, when looking up through the top floor window, we could see the sky - no roof, just random boards. Yikes!

With the police department going through the effects of mass retirement, we have to agree that there isn't a more important time for us to get involved than now! 

Three groups were formed to work towards a solution for this area:

  1. CPRV CODES REPORTERS: This group will tackle the blighted buildings and codes violations with pen and paper (or e-mail!). When codes violations exist (trash, graffiti, garbage cans left out, broken windows, tall grass, loitering...) we will be on it. We will watch these areas and contact the appropriate city contacts with pictures if possible. We want to let the area know that turning to blight will not be accepted. We will start out focusing on the 38th Street and Colley Avenue intersection. Groups will be assigned to different areas of our problem zone to watch on a daily basis for codes violations. A quick drive past an area on a daily basis to note infractions (a picture says a thousand words) and a note to the appropriate agency just might do the trick. The areas in watch will be be modified as positive changes are enacted and as new reports come in such as a problem-house or area to watch. Please let me know if you can volunteer to keep an eye out on a strip of property in this area and if you know of another area that needs to be added to the list for reporting.
  2. CPRV NEIGHBORHOOD PATROL: Curbing crime in the neighborhood is a concern. The plan is to form an informal or formal patrol of our neighborhood to keep a watch out for suspicious behavior, lights out, and areas that need to be improved for safety. This can be as simple as making a presence in your area, keeping an eye out when walking the dog, or driving around patrolling. Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering with this group.
  3. CPRV AMBASSADORS: We know that to be effective it will take the effort of many. Our goal is to meet face to face with all CPRV residents and talk to them about joining the CPRV Email List as a means to connect with one another, to encourage our neighbors to notify the police when they see suspicious behavior, and to strengthen the block-captain program by getting every block covered. Please let me know if you are interested in committing to a street in the neighborhood and making sure that every house on that street gets a flyer and hopefully a face-to-face chat about our goal.
Look for crime updates and updates from this group on the list serve. Not a member yet??? Now is the time to join. You can't afford to not be informed! Go to and follow the link! Get involved!


Friday, September 9th, 2005
Check local listings - Virginia In-Water Boat Expo - Town Point Park and Norfolk Waterside Marina ($)
Saturday, September 10th, 2005
Check local listings - Virginia In-Water Boat Expo - Town Point Park and Norfolk Waterside Marina ($)
Check local listing - Norfolk Seafood Sampler - Town Point Park (Free)
Check local listing - Beach Music Festival - Town Point Park (Free)
Norfolk Neighborhood Pride Tour - “Port to Port” - Contact 441-2400 (Ext 232)
Sunday, September 11th, 2005
Check local listings - Virginia In-Water Boat Expo - Town Point Park and Norfolk Waterside Marina ($)
Check local listing - Norfolk Seafood Sampler - Town Point Park (Free)
Check local listing - Beach Music Festival - Town Point Park (Free)
Monday, September 12th, 2005
7:00 p.m. - Civic League Meeting - Stuart Center
Thursday, September 22nd, 2005
6th Annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference - Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel - Contact 441-2400
Friday, September 23rd, 2005
6th Annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference - Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel - Contact 441-2400
Saturday, September 24th, 2005
6th Annual Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference - Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel - Contact 441-2400

(Dates and Times subject to change without notice)
Consult your local periodicals for additional information, admission costs and updates)

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:   Joe Rivas, Phone 277-2822
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Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Joe Rivas
              Phone: 277-2822

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