Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

November 2006

             Guest Speaker, Mr. Michael Shaw, Manager of the Larchmont Branch Library, at This Month's Meeting

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, November 13, 2006, 7:00 pm, NOTE NEW LOCATION Knox Presbyterian Church, Colonial and 37th Street.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be Monday, November 20, 2006, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the December issue is Tuesday, November 27, 2006.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - Mr. Michael Shaw, manager of the Larchmont Branch Library, will speak - Presentation by Mrs. Amie Warfield concerning a zoning exception for a property on Georgia Avenue.

President's Notes:
Something Wonderful This Way Comes

Steve Earnhart

I hope you had an opportunity to enjoy this year's CPRV Front Porch Art Walk as it was a great success and a good time for all involved. Mrs. Kristen Bourcier and Ms. Tara Sheldon (both of whom were exhibiting artists) continued the tradition of artistic and organizational excellence in coordinating (at what seems sometimes to be the fury or disdain of Mother Nature) this annual event. Please join me in saluting Kristin and Tara and all of the participating artists, sponsors and volunteers. Truly a work of art in and of itself.

As you read Mrs. Artemis Stoll's article on the forthcoming book Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History, co-authored by Mrs. Susan Van Hecke and Artemis, keep in mind that these ladies devoted hundreds of volunteer hours in creating this work. This is what makes CPRV special – people willing to commit themselves to the task of creating, problem solving and expanding the scope of what we think of as our community. Once again, like the Front Porch Art Walk, this is what sets Colonial Place & Riverview apart from other communities. I would also like to thank Mr. David Block and Mrs. Theresa Nock, both CPRV residents and real estate agents in the community, for their support and patronage of this project. Without their financial commitment, this project would not have come to fruition. I have seen the proofs for this book and I cannot stop raving about them. You are going to be very impressed.

Related to the forthcoming book, I would like to ask you to save the date for the CPRV Holiday Party/Book Release Event to be held on Monday, December 11th at the New Belmont at 2117 Colonial Avenue. Mr. Rich Katz and Mr. David Filipowski, CPRV residents and proud owners of New Belmont, Cogans and Fat Boy's, have generously allowed us to have our event at one of their restaurants. We are set to have a great time that night as we release the new book, exalt our wonderful authors, cheer our financial patrons and usher in the winter holidays. More details about this in the December newsletter. For now, mark the date!

See you at November's CPRV Civic League meeting on Monday, November 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church (new location).

It's not just a neighborhood, it's a lifestyle…
-Steve Earnhart

November's Guest Speakers
Dave Nye

For November's meeting we will be welcoming Mr. Michael Shaw, manager of the Larchmont Branch Library. Michael is a resident of CPRV and serves as a Block Captain and a member of the CPRV Crime Prevention/Safety Committee. He will be speaking to us about the Larchmont facility and what it has to offer our community.

We will also hear from Mrs. Amie Warfield concerning the property on Georgia Avenue for which a zoning exception has been requested. As per CPRV's current policy, the board will not support a zoning exception until the person(s) developing the property have presented their case to the league board as well as a league membership.

Lastly, I'd again like to thank Mr. Pete Sessa for speaking to our membership at the October meeting. In the short time that he was allotted, he presented us with valuable information on the repair and maintenance of our CPRV homes with a wonderful combination of know-how and humor. For those of you that had questions for Pete but were not given the opportunity to ask, he can be heard Sundays on WNIS Radio 790 AM or contacted through, the homepage for Pete Sessa and Associates.

Change in Regular League Meeting Location
Dave Nye

Due primarily to even greater time restrictions being placed on our monthly meetings at Stuart Center (we have recently been asked to leave no later than 8 p.m.), the decision was made to find a location more suited to our needs. After contacting several CPRV locales, we have accepted a generous offer from Knox Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Colonial Avenue and 37th Street.

Steve and I recently met with a representative from the church, Karen Tilley (a Colonial Place resident), and were given the full tour. We will have access to their Fellowship Hall, which includes table seating for around a hundred people, as well as access to a full commercial kitchen (which could come in handy for our holiday parties and other events). Karen will also be the one opening up the church for us prior to our meetings and seeing to our needs as we get accustomed to our new location. She tells us that she and her husband, as well as the leaders of the church, have wanted to become more involved with the CPRV Civic League – this appears to be an excellent opportunity for both groups.

We will have access to the meeting space from 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM, ample time to prepare for and conduct our meetings – with some socializing time left to spare. There's plenty of parking available on 37th street as well as on the grassy area between the church and 36th Street (look for the huge magnolia). The entrance that we will be using is an awning covered double door that fronts 37th Street just to the rear of the main chapel (we'll put a sign out to assist).

Haven Creek and Knitting Mill Creek Updates
Bill Nusbaum

At the urging of the Civic League, the City's FY 2006-07 Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Budget included separate funds to upgrade the Haven Creek boat ramp and vicinity and to build additional Knitting Mill Creek bulkhead, but given the absence of any visible progress, residents were becoming concerned. So, as the new Chair of the Civic League's Haven Creek committee (with much appreciation for the leadership shown by Steve Tobias over the years!), on October 10, I spoke with Dave Pfiffer of the City's Department of Neighborhood and Leisure Services and Chuck Joyner of the Department of Public Works regarding the status of the City's construction projects on our two neighboring creeks. I have this report:

Between last year's and this year's CIP Budgets, the City had appropriated $1.35 million for Haven Creek construction. When the City invited bids for the Haven Creek project, about 15 companies picked up bid packages, but only three submitted bids, for roughly $1.0 million, $1.55 million and $1.85 million. When the low bidder was notified and saw the $550,000 gap between its bid and the next lowest one, it reviewed its bid, found a material error, timely proved it to the City and withdrew its bid, leaving the City with the $1.55 million bid by Marine Contracting, Inc., and $200,000 over budget. About the same time, the City sought bids to install another block of Knitting Mill Creek bulkhead and received only one bid, which was 50% higher than expected. (Steel prices have been increasing 12-15% annually, so bulkheads now cost about $1 million per block, double the cost of 2-3 years ago.) In some creative negotiating, our City staff asked and Marine Contracting, Inc. agreed to combine the Knitting Mill Creek bulkhead work into the Haven Creek boat ramp contract, which resulted in some efficiencies and cost savings, bringing both the jobs within acceptable budgets. The work will begin in December 2006. The scope of the Haven Creek work is exciting. Not only will the boat ramp be rebuilt, but it will include the canoe and kayak floating finger pier we requested. Not only will a new sheet pile bulkhead be installed along Mayflower Road from the boat ramp up to New York Ave., but a new, timber walkway connected (at its northern end) to the existing walking path will sit on the new bulkhead. The southern end of the walkway will connect to a new sidewalk to be built in the median between the boat ramp parking lot and Mayflower Road, extending the path all the way to Delaware Ave., without having to worry about dodging traffic! In addition, Mayflower Road will be elevated somewhat and new flap valves will be installed on the storm drains, which should reduce (but not eliminate) flooding along Mayflower Road in front of Lafayette Tower. The Haven Creek job should be finished by late summer 2007.

As to the longer-term prospects, Joyner said there is $75,000 in the CIP Budget for design work for restoring the Haven Creek path between from New York Ave. north to New Hampshire Ave. He expects the project will end up as a continuation of the timber walkway, but elevated on piers rather than new bulkhead, from New York Ave. north to Rhode Island Ave., and then a widened and stabilized ground-level path from Rhode Island Ave. north to New Hampshire Ave. Joyner added that this is all tentative, but that is the present scope of the design work, and the Army Corps of Engineers usually accepts elevated walkways. Construction funding would be proposed in the next City budget cycle. He also mentioned Haven Creek is silting up and needs dredging, and that although it is a federal channel, the City will likely end up being the one to dredge it, and has started a hydraulic survey of the channel. Accordingly, Joyner expects Public Works will submit a CIP budget request for dredging Haven Creek in the next City budget cycle.

Turning to Knitting Mill Creek, Marine Contracting, Inc. will extend the existing bulkhead (same style of construction) for another block southward from Connecticut Ave. to a point a little to south of New York Ave. (Let's hope it makes it past the low point there!) Joyner confirmed that plans for the articulated mats originally proposed and which intrigued so many residents had been rejected. The Army Corps of Engineers was worried that underwater portions of the mats might be hit by the Corps dredging equipment when the Corps dredges Knitting Mill Creek, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission was concerned about the effect the articulated mats would have on the sub-aqueous bottom of the creek bottom. This job should wrap up by mid-autumn 2007.

Crime Prevention
Sheila Janes

The next Crime Prevention meeting will be held on Monday, November 27th, 6:30 p.m. at the Riverview Coffee Parlor.

Citywide crime statistics are available on the City of Norfolk's website at:

Sun Shines on Art Walk
Kristin Bourcier

Despite the gloomy preceding days and scary weather forecasts all week, the sun did shine on our 8th annual Front Porch Art Walk. Although flooding made getting around to some homes an "adventurous" undertaking, for the most part we were blessed with dry streets and porches, and our neighbors were out in packs big and small to support the arts in our community. We were happy to have two calendar mentions in the Portfolio, as well as receiving "Best Bets" accolades online from and the Pilot! Best of all, we were excited to see 32 artists participating in this year's event, ranging from painting to ceramics, jewelry to costumes! Who knew one neighborhood could house so much talent?

We would like to thank the many volunteers who worked so hard to help make this event possible, as well as all of you who helped promote the event by sponsoring parties and inviting friends to celebrate with us. Special thanks to the Lydia Roper House, The Riverview Coffee Parlor, and the Ruckstaetter family and friends for providing hospitality stops to our guests.

Are you interested in seeing this event continue for a ninth year? We are looking for individuals willing to make the time commitment to chair 2007's show. Please contact Kristin Bourcier at or 622-5324 to discuss how you can be a major part of next year's planning!

Village Crier
Alice McCoy, RVBA President

With the help of the Friends of the Norfolk Environment and the Ernie Morgan Enviromental Center, the Riverview Village Business Association continues to strive to reduce, reuse and recycle. Be sure to ask your favorite businesses what they are doing to help the environment. You may be surprised by some of the things we are doing.

As the Holidays approach, you will see many changes in the Riverview Village Business District. The sidewalk planters are filled with nandina and pansies. The RVBA continues their Adopt-A-Spot Program. The sidewalk lanterns will be decorated with garland and bows. Retail windows will sparkle and shine and shelves will be stocked with all the seasons best finds. Restaurants will serve up hot soups, seasonal drinks and great fare. So, as your favorite holiday approaches, remember to shop the neighborhood first. We hope you had fun at our Holiday Open House, Saturday, November 4!

Artemis Stoll

The CPRV Civic League is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History, a hardbound pictorial "coffee table" book that will capture a century of life in our two venerable neighborhoods. Sponsored by William E. Wood's David Block and Theresa Nock, and co-authored by Susan VanHecke and Artemis Stoll, the 72-page hardcover retrospective incorporates approximately 90 black and white photos and a dozen color shots.

Copies will be available from December 1 at The Riverview Coffee Parlor, Prince Books, Broad Street Books, and at the Civic League Holiday/Book Release Party Monday, December 11 at the New Belmont. Cover price is $24.95, with proceeds benefitting the Civic League. Thanks!

Dog Park Update
Buffy Masten

By now you should all see that the artwork with some of our local dog park dogs will be hanging on the fence around the dog park. Many thanks go out to Lynn Hembree, a Colonial Place artist, known for her fine and realistic pet portraits, for all of her volunteer efforts in doing the art work and helping bring the dog park art panels to fruition. Please consider her if any of you would like to have portraits made of your pets. She has a beautiful portfolio to show you. Her phone is 627-7470. Thanks go out, also, to Fast Signs, a company in the strip mall area between 21st and 22nd Streets. Their conscientious work on the art panels is greatly appreciated. Apparently it wasn't an easy job. Drop by the dog park to see the art work on the fence surrounding the park.

The city of Norfolk has assured me that they will be replacing the Maple tree in the dog park this Fall. The summer park mowers apparently girdled the tree with their weed whackers, causing the tree to die. We will try to protect this new tree with a buffer zone around it.

Finally, an incident at the dog park around the middle of October needs to be addressed. A father in Colonial Place called me to ask if his son and a friend could help out with anything in the dog park to satisfy their community service obligations at their school. Since it was right after the noreaster there was a lot of trash in the dog park, brought in by the high water during the storm. I told him that it would be great if the kids could pick up the trash, and they agreed. When they started picking up the trash in the dog park, apparently a woman who was there with her dog told them that they had to leave. They told her why they were there and that they had my permission, but she told them that they still could not be in the dog park. When they returned with their dad she had already left. If very small children are in the dog park, unaccompanied by an adult, they should be asked to leave for their own safety. These boys were older, and had an express interest in being there. If anyone has a question about whether any specific children are to be allowed in the dog park please call me at 622-6635. In the future, any children who are in the dog park with my permission will carry a permission card, which they can obtain by calling me and picking it up at my house. The dog park was created for everyone to enjoy. It is a public park. Lets not let "policing" it get out of hand.

Also, the dog art will be put up on the fence around the dog park on Sunday, Nov. 5. at 1 p.m. Lynn Hembree will be there that day in case anyone else is interested in having their dogs photographed for future art panels. Remember, there is a charge of $50 for one dog, $75 for two dogs and $100 for three dogs. This does not cover the entire cost of the panels and the Civic League has agreed to make up the rest. We invite everyone to come to the dog park on November 5th to join us in erecting the panels. It should be a fun time. Those of you who have purchased panels will have a choice of where to put it. Otherwise, we will make the choice for you.

Up From the Soil
Jim Hoffmaster

Bulbs, BULBS, BULBS … Let's cover the basics this month keeping in mind that there are specifics for each variety of bulb but unfortunately, there is not enough space to cover those specifics here. So, generally speaking …

The first rule of thumb when selecting bulbs is, size does matter! You want to select large size bulbs that are firm and free of soft spots or mold and discoloration. You can buy daffodil bulbs at a huge discount that are very small but you will be disappointed in the bloom. That is, IF you even get a bloom in the first season. Buy a larger bulb of that same daffodil, and you will have better results the first year after planting. The same applies for all flowering bulbs.

Most spring bulbs will thrive and bloom in partial shade but most would prefer full sun. The best bulbs for Hampton Roads are nearly all types of daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, tulips and nearly all iris. Most bulbs need to be planted at least 3 inches deep but check the packaging for each bulb. Choose a place that is well drained and never has standing water. Other than the squirrels, overly wet soil is the biggest enemy of most bulbs. Amend the planting hole with some bone meal, place the bulbs, cover and lightly fertilize with a basic 10-10-10 time released fertilizer.

Once your bulbs have bloomed, remove the bloom stalk but allow the foliage to die back naturally. The foliage provides needed nutrient to the bulb for the next season, so never cut the foliage or tie it in bunches until it has browned off. If you need to lift any bulbs, (such as the tulip) wait till the foliage has died back, carefully dig up the bulb, cut the brown foliage and clean as much of the soil off the bulb as possible. I don't recommend washing the bulb as excess moisture can cause mold in storage. Store the bulbs in a paper bag in a cool dry place. You can also store the bulbs in dry peat moss. NEVER store the bulbs in sealed plastic bags or airtight containers. They will surely rot and when you open the bag in the fall to plant, you will be in for a rude awakening with the stench!

And there you have it. Spring bulbs 101! We are lucky in Hampton Roads to be able to plant spring bulbs from late September through December. You can plant into January as long as the soil has not frozen. Stagger your plantings every week and you will be able to enjoy their blooms for a much longer period of time in the spring. Happy planting and feel free to drop me a line at with any questions you might have.

OCTOBER Meetings & Activitites
Colonial Place/Riverview & Beyond

Dates and times are subject to change without notice. Consult your local periodicals for additional information, costs and updates.

Just For Kids
CPRV Children’s Playgroup
Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Call 624-6810 for details.

Senior’s Bowling Club
Mondays at 2:15 p.m.
AMF Bowling on Little Creek Rd.
Call 441-2109 for details.

60+ Club
Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
Ocean View Senior Center
Call 441-1767 for details.

CPRV Meetings
CPRV Civic League Meeting
Monday, November 13, 7 p.m.
*Knox Presbyterian Church*

CPRV Board Meeting
Monday, November 20
Call CPRV President for details.

CPRV Crime Prevention Meeting
Monday, November 27, 6:30 p.m.
Riverview Coffee Parlor

Out & About
“HNoMS Statsraad Lehmkuhl Tall Ship Visit”
November 6 through November 9, 2006
Town Point Park, Norfolk, VA

“22nd Annual Grand Illumination Parade”
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Downtown Norfolk

"Hampton Roads Metro Band Veterans Day Concert"
Saturday, November 11, 1 p.m.
USS Wisconsin

COMMUNITY NEWS is produced by:

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

              E-MAIL: (checked weekly)

              WEB PAGE:

Community News Editor:   Stephanie Hale, Phone 622-6999
Community News Distribution:   Buddy Petzinger, Phone 622-0233 and Mary Hormell, Phone 627-2392
Advertising:   Stephanie Hale, Phone 622-6999

Please deliver typewritten newsletter items to:

              Stephanie Hale
              Phone: 622-6999

Return to Newsletter Archive

© 2006 Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League
Site provided by