Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

January 2007

             Guest Speakers, John Stewart and David Pfiffer, At This Month's Meeting

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, January 8, 2007, 7:00 pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, Colonial and 37th Street.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be Monday, January 15, 2007, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the February issue is Tuesday, January 23, 2007.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - John Stewart, CPRV resident, will speak on the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership - Mr. David Pfiffer, Project Manager with Norfolk's Department of Recreation, Parks, and Open Spaces, will discuss the proposed improvements to the basketball courts in Lafayette Park.

President's Notes: The New Year
Steve Earnhart

I would like to begin this column by thanking everyone who attended our CPRV Holiday Social/Book Release Party at the New Belmont last month. I hope you have had some time to spend with our new book, Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History, written by CPRV's very own Mrs. Artemis Stoll and Susan VanHecke. Their hard work and commitment to writing the history of the neighborhood in an honest and engaging way has given us a treasure to share with family, friends, old neighbors and soon-to-be neighbors. Jen and I sent a copy to Mrs. Libby Bauser who grew up in Riverview and now lives in a senior residence in Boulder, Colorado and gave another copy to a colleague of mine whom we are gently coaxing into buying or renting in CPRV. This wonderful tome was made possible by the generous support of Ms. Theresa Nock and Mr. David Block of William E. Woods and Associates. They loaned the civic league, at no monetary profit for themselves, a substantial sum of money to cover the costs of producing and printing this gorgeous hardback book. We thank them for investing in this project and we hope you will enjoy this "walk through the centuries" as much as I have. Mr. David Spriggs of Riverview continues to re-fill the many orders of this book (see the flyer in this newsletter where you can buy copies). I also wanted to thank Mr. David Filipowski and Mr. Rich Katz, owners of New Belmont and Cogans, for their generous support of our community efforts in general and last month's holiday social in particular.

I hope you can resolve to stay or become active in our civic league this year. We have many existing committees and groups that contribute to the betterment of our neighborhood. I am also interested in revitalizing the traffic committee as well as an education committee to study the state of our city's schools. Mr. John Stewart of CPRV will present a project that he is shepherding that will potentially allow our league to work with other stakeholders in the area to improve our area's wetlands. If you are interested in any of these or our existing committees, or have an idea you would like to explore, please email me at or give me a call at 533-5581. I am not simply looking for more ideas, I am looking for more people to get involved with working on old and new ideas.

Following her and Susan's very successful regional book tour, which included TV appearances and book signings, Mrs. Artemis Stoll has volunteered to co-chair the 2007 CPRV Front Porch Art Walk along with its founder Mrs. Sheila Robinson. I want to thank them both for taking on this very worthwhile endeavor.

As always, it is not just a neighborhood, CPRV is a lifestyle. Steve Earnhart -

January Civic League Meeting/Speakers
Dave Nye

Our January 8th meeting will return us to our new meeting location at Knox Presbyterian Church on Colonial Avenue at 37th Street. We will be hearing from Mr. David Pfiffer, Project Manager with Norfolk's Department of Recreation, Parks, and Open Spaces, concerning the proposed improvements to the basketball courts in Lafayette Park. Mr. Pfiffer will present a large aerial photograph of the park depicting the proposed changes as well as photographs of recently completed renovations within the city.

Our second speaker will also be presenting information of an environmental nature. Our neighborhoods are surrounded by river, creeks, and wetlands. We can contribute considerably to the health of these natural assets. A group tentatively named the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership is forming to do just that. Its focus will be the restoration and maintenance of the small wetland on the west side of Knitting Mill Creek at 46th Street and Colley Avenue. Mr. John Stewart, a CPRV resident, is leading the formation of the Partnership. He will describe the work that has been done so far to protect the Knitting Mill Creek wetland, outline the Partnership's goals, and invite the participation of interested members of the community. Not only can we can make a difference in how the Knitting Mill Creek wetland is maintained over time, but the work may serve as a model for similar projects in other neighborhoods. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can obtain more information about the initiative by contacting John directly at or 623-8127.

Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History

Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League is pleased to announce the publication of Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History

Since their early-twentieth-century beginnings as streetcar suburbs of Norfolk, Virginia, the adjoining historic neighborhoods of Colonial Place and Riverview have evolved into a vibrant, active community that a diverse citizenry now calls home. Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History, an elegant 8.5" x 11" hardcover volume, beautifully captures the neighborhoods' fascinating story in 72 pages, enhanced by 102 photographs.

Colonial Place and Riverview: One Hundred Years of History is a great family heritage piece, a wonderful gift, and a treasured keepsake for all. Only 1,000 copies of this limited-edition pictorial were printed.

Copies are available for purchase ($24.95) at the following locations and online soon at

The Village Crier
Alice J. McCoy, Riverview Village Business Association President

Happy New Year from the Riverview Village! Start the new year with a free drink from the Riverview Coffee Parlor! All you need to do is patronize some of your favorite Riverview Village businesses and visit some new merchants as well. Stop by the Coffee Parlor and ask for a Holiday Open House Program. Get five different business cards from any of the businesses listed in the program, (preferably ones you have not visited before). Bring the business cards back to the Riverview Coffee Parlor and get a free drink (up to a $4.00 value). Offer expires January 31, 2007

CPRV Crime Prevention
Sheila Janes

As we start a new year of crime prevention in Colonial Place, we hope to get even more people involved in the neighborhood watch program this year. Crime Prevention meetings are held the 4th Monday of every month at the Riverview Coffee Parlor. This month we will review our stats for the year, view the map of reported crimes, pinpoint hot spots, as well as tackle new issues that arise. If we can be of any assistance to you, do not hesitate for a moment to contact or meet with us.

Up From The Soil
Jim Hoffmaster,

Now that the holiday season is over and all of the festive decorations are neatly packed away and we all have a few extra pounds around our waist, it's time to plan for the warm gardening weather ahead. If you're like me, this is the time of year we get the most anxious to start digging in the soil, clipping, transplanting, seed starting and all that goes with it. But you know what? “Baby it's COLD outside” in January and I hate cold. I'm fortunate enough to have a greenhouse and work in an environment where I can play with plants inside in a warm enclosure. And so do you! That is, if you have tropical plants in your home. Now is a good time to tend to them as they need care this time of year too.

Basically, you just need to perform some routine maintenance on your tropical plants, also known as “house plants” which is an oxymoron if you think about it. The most neglected element for in house plant care is humidity. Your tropical plants need a higher level of humidity than we do in order to thrive. Unless you have a humidifier in your home, which is well worth the investment, this can be a difficult task. In a low level humidity environment that most homes have in the winter, your plants are most susceptible to spider mites, aphids, tiny white flying things known as thrips and white fly and also mealy bugs. You will need to treat your plants as soon as you discover these pests or the plants might not make it to spring!

Also, pick up and dispose of all dropped leaves and pick off any yellowed leaves on the plants as these can promote disease in the soil. You should allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering which should be about once a week. Use a liquid fertilizer but only apply in reduced strength about once a month until March. And finally, give those plants as much natural day light or even sunlight as you can while they are in the house during winter. Use a plant light on a timer if you have to but this will make a huge difference in the health and appearance of your plants.

So, take it easy this month. Browse the gardening catalogs, take some time to plan your yard, attend a few garden shows in the next three months and visit your local garden center to see the selection of tropical plants they have and breathe in the fresh scent of the greenhouse. It's a “warm fuzzy” for the middle of winter.

CPRV Civic League Membership Support
Bob Baxter

As we begin the new year, I want to thank those individuals who supported the league in 2006, and in past years, by being a paid member. Your support is greatly appreciated. Just a friendly reminder that 2006 civic league memberships officially expired on December 31, but it's not too late to renew for 2007. Annual dues are only $10 per person or $5 for persons 65 and over, so please consider renewing your membership for 2007. The membership form can be found on the back page of this newsletter or at

The Impact It Has...
Sheila Janes

I wish to engage the community in a discussion on our neighborhood schools - particularly the middle school. You may recall that I reported that the Performance Report for Blair Middle School was appalling.

It is in this report that I found out that our middle school had a seventh grade promotion rate of 51%. So 49% of the seventh grade class at Blair Middle School was not being promoted on to the next grade. 49% of the seventh grade had not learned the material well enough to move on up to eighth grade. 49% of the seventh grade class was FAILING.

I met with the principal of Blair Middle School, Mrs. McKown, who is a delightful woman. This summer she told me of her wonderful honors programs, awards assemblies, robotics classes, music and art classes, and of the wonderful things that some graduates had gone on to accomplished. The new building was state of the art and the technology available for teaching compared with what I had seen at St. Patricks. I was impressed, yet the test scores still heavily weighed on my mind. She assured me that she had put in a call to the records department to correct those stats because 49% of her 7th grade was not held back. I was skeptical, yet somewhat relieved that it must just be an error. Relieved, because I am the parent of two public school kids - one of them a fourth grader.

I followed up with Mrs. McKown this November and I was saddened to hear that the stats are indeed correct, yet they don't take into account the kids who attend summer school and then are promoted on to the next grade level. I also took another tour of the school in session and I was amazed at what a difference there was between the elementary schools and the middle school. I was amazed that the difference in behaviors that were not acceptable at the elementary school level, yet appeared to be acceptable at the middle school level. I was amazed at the way two different school interpreted the dress code.

My middle school on Long Island wasn't this rowdy, but I know it isn't a northern/southern thing. What is the difference? A different era? Kids are different today? Maybe? Or maybe more accurately would be to say that the adults are different today. Maybe what is different is what the community is willing to allow - what the community is willing to accept - what the community is willing to put forth to ensure that the children who live here will attend school in a respectful, quality driven, academic environment that will help ensure what attitude they mold towards our community and its citizens in the future. Some might say that these words are lofty. It is not the schools job to ensure good citizenship. Maybe not - but maybe education is our only real tool to ensure the quality of our community.

Amy Fant represented CPRV at the Community Engagement on Gang Prevention and Youth Development. One of the top items listed as a pull for kids into gangs was overage kids in the classroom. If half the 7th grade doesn't pass, then they are at an 8th grade age in the seventh grade classroom. If this happens a few times, then we have 16 year old freshman and a high dropout rate. The City of Norfolk has already found a correlation between gang involvement and being behind in school - this should make us further take note of our school's performance record.

A community shouldn't expect more from itself than what it is willing to teach the children in the school system. Should we be amazed at the sheer number of children who are not getting the curriculum - the basics? What effect does this have on our society, the crime, the drugs, the employment, the quality of our lives? I'm not suggesting that the schools are responsible for these behaviors, but we need to start looking at areas where we could offer solutions.

Could more be done? We could start by talking about the issues, identifying some of the needs, brainstorming on solutions, becoming involved on a community level. After all, we do pay taxes. Shouldn't we follow up on how they are being spent if they are not producing the desired result? 49% of the seventh grade didn't get promoted in our neighborhood school... a desired result?

I encourage you to become involved in addressing these concerns. CPRV is forming an education committee to research these concerns as well as other educational concerns for our neighborhood. Since property values are influenced by the school district's performance, every homeowner in CPRV has a vested interest in these issues. I would like to call a dialogue for CPRV residents regarding the state of our neighborhood schools at The Riverview Coffee Parlor on Monday, January 29th at 7pm. Please contact Sheila Janes (469-3531) if you plan on attending.

January Meetings and Activities
Colonial Place/Riverview & Beyond

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 664-6484 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, January 8, 7 p.m.
*Knox Presbyterian Church*

CPRV Board Meeting
Monday, January 15
Call CPRV President for details.

CPRV Crime Prevention Meeting
Monday, January 22, 7 p.m.
*Riverview Coffee Parlor*

Out & About
"D'Art New Art New Wine 2007"
January 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
D'Art Center, 625-4211

“MacArthur On Ice: Outdoor Ice Skating in Downtown Norfolk”
Through January 15, 2007
Monticello & Freemason, 627-6000

"Rock Star Supernova"
January 19, 8 p.m.
Ted Constant Convocation Center,

"Tidewater Friends of Folk Music: Julie
Clark" (a CPRV resident!)
January 27, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

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