Colonial Place/Riverview Civic League

April 2007

             Guest Speakers at This Month's Meeting: Dr. Dan Ostrander and Dr. Sabrina Forester
WODV Community Radio 1620 for CPRV

CIVIC LEAGUE MEETING, Monday, April 9, 2007, 7:00 pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, Colonial and 37th Street.

NEXT BOARD MEETING will be Monday, April 16, 2007, at 7:00 pm.

DEADLINE for the May issue is Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

THIS MONTH'S MEETING AGENDA:   Monthly police report - Code enforcement update - Dr. Dan Ostrander and Dr. Sabrina Forester, who operate Old Dominion Broadcasting (World Wide Internet Radio) from their home in Colonial Place on their offer to create a limited range AM radio station for Colonial Place and Riverview (WODV Community Radio 1620).

President's Notes
Building the Community and a Requiem for a Dream

Steve Earnhart

This month, I have several items of good news to share with you and one disappointing item, on which we need to reflect. First, the good news. At last month's annual Crime Prevention Awards Dinner co-hosted by the Citizen's Police Academy Alumni Association and the City of Norfolk, both Officer Curtis Jackson, our P.A.C.E. Officer, and Mrs. Sheila Janes, our CPRV Crime Prevention Committee Chair, were recognized for their dedication to public safety and community building efforts. Speaking of community building, Mr. John Stewart of CPRV has been doing a great job coordinating the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership, which is busy working to restore wetlands along Knitting Mill Creek. You will see his article in the newsletter detailing their efforts. Work is progressing on the Haven Creek boat ramp improvements and the Community Garden is springing into life.

If that was not good enough, please ask yourself what does a civic league that has a website, a listserv, a sticker, a newsletter and now a historical book need? You guessed it. A radio station. Please come to the April CPRV Civic League meeting to meet with representatives from WODV (which stands for Old Dominion, Virginia) who will be presenting an opportunity for the civic league to be involved in low-powered A.M. radio. We are fortunate to have two very special residents of CPRV who want to offer us, as a civic league, a chance to take to the airwaves and broadcast throughout our fair City. Ever thought of having your own radio show? Want to hear something that is not currently broadcasted? I encourage everyone to get involved with this very unique opportunity. See Dave Nye's article for more information.

Now for the sad news. As you may have read, Broad Street Books on 21st Street has closed for business. The former owner, Ms. Susie Weaver, was more than a bookseller and her store was more than a business. Susie has been a friend to our civic league and our community, reading at our CPRV Holiday Social two years ago and recently hosting a book-signing for our neighborhood historical book. She made many donations of gift certificates for various causes including the Maury High School Booster Association. But it's more than that. Her bookstore was a meeting space, sometimes on purpose and other times by accident, for book discussion groups, history buffs, mystery readers, poets and the old and the young alike. The closing of Broad Street Books breaks my heart, as I have come to know Susie and her staff over the last couple of years, and have watched how hard they have worked: throwing the best Harry Potter release parties ever, sponsoring literary events, and partnering with many organizations for the betterment of our community. The lesson we must learn is to shop our local businesses first. They are the ones who willingly participate in our civic leagues and our communities. Whether sponsoring a sports team or contributing goods and services for a charity fundraiser, local business are the backbone of our community. They live among us, work among us, and recreate among us. Our dollars, spent at their businesses, come back to us many fold. I want to thank Susie and her staff for all they have done for Colonial Place and Riverview. I also want to ask that we recommit ourselves to thinking globally and shopping locally. Thanks for hearing me out on this one. See you at the April civic league meeting.

It's not just a neighborhood, it's a lifestyle (and a radio show),
Steve Earnhart,

At This Month's Meeting
Dave Nye, Civic League VP

The last several months have brought some relatively heavy subjects to our monthly meetings. We've discussed rat infestations, apartment and condo complex construction, green space lost to recreational facilities and housing, zoning infractions, and non-buildable lots – just to name a few.

For April's meeting we will be shifting gears to the lighter side. We have invited Dr. Dan Ostrander and Dr. Sabrina Forester, who operate Old Dominion Broadcasting (World Wide Internet Radio) from their home in Colonial Place. Wanting to do something to support the community, “Dr. Dan” and “Dr. Sabrina” approached Steve Earnhart with the offer to create a limited range AM radio station for Colonial Place and Riverview (WODV Community Radio 1620). They presented the idea to attendees at our March board meeting.

This is a generous and exciting opportunity for CPRV to become the first neighborhood (at least as far as we know) to have their very own community A.M. limited range radio station – and at no cost to CPRV! The station can be operated with minimal CPRV support (primarily feedback) by using available programming and automated “DJ's,” or it can truly become our station by having CPRV neighbors become involved in producing our own programming – talk and opinion, local interest, music, how-to shows, neighborhood news… the possibilities are almost endless! You can sample other Old Dominion Broadcasting stations by visiting on the web.

Please plan to attend the April meeting to offer support and feedback for this exciting opportunity for the CPRV community. See you there!

Call For Artists!
Artemis Stoll

Save The Date - October 14, 2007
The 9th Annual Riverview-Colonial Place Front Porch Art Walk is in the works for Sunday, October 14, 2007. Resident artists will have the chance to once again convert their porches into art galleries and display and sell their artwork to visitors and neighbors.

The Art Walk is open to all artists in any media of the visual arts, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, fiber, metal, glass, and wood; however, current guidelines allow for only original works of art of the artists' own design.

If you are an artist living in Riverview or Colonial Place and would like to participate, or if you are interested in volunteering to help with the Art Walk please contact Artemis Stoll (627-1728 or email

Crime Prevention
Sheila Janes, CPRV Crime Prevention Chair, 469-3531

Hearing gunfire, even when it is off in the distance is disturbing. Many cities across America deal with random gunfire and Norfolk is not alone. The crime prevention committee of Colonial Place and Riverview realize that crime in neighborhoods other than our own can affect our quality of life depending on their proximity to us. We recognize that we don't work, eat, and shop in the bubble of Colonial Place or Riverview and we need to travel outside our borders, and we demand the same sort of security we have at home. In keeping with the idea of "community" crime prevention, sometimes we may need to address problems outside of our borders. The CPRV Crime Prevention Committee sent a request to Mayor Fraim along with copies to our city council representatives, the city manager, the police chief, and the Commonwealth's Attorney to study purchasing a gunfire detection system for our city that would encompass a two square mile radius including our neighborhoods. For the past year and a half, residents have been reporting on the CPRV listserv when they hear shots fired off in the distance. However, it is impossible to pinpoint where to direct the officers to go to unless there is an eyewitness account. A gunfire detection system will pinpoint the location of a shot fired with in a few feet and will immediately send a report to the dispatchers. This will aid in getting officers to the exact location immediately instead of driving around looking for a lead. The city is investigating the system per our request. While this investigation is going on, our lieutenant would like the following procedure to be followed if you hear shots fired.

  1. Call 441-5610 and make the report of gunfire (if you are an eyewitness, call 9-1-1)
  2. Call Lt. Hungerford and leave a message on his phone with your information, address, phone number, and guesstimation as to what direction the shots were fired from if possible.
  3. Make the report on the listserv. (sign up instructions to the CPRV listserv are available at
Giving the approximate location of where you are is important (i.e. 400 block of New York Ave.). If several people hear the shots, please give the different locations. I know that crime is down in our area, but we need to continue to be proactive in our approach to community-wide crime prevention. This will ensure that our quality of life is safe and sound. If you have any crime concerns that I can assist you with, please don't hesitate to call me at 469-3531.

Education Working Group
Take a survey; attend the meeting

Sandy Cameron-Adams

The CPRV Education Working Group wants your input regarding our schools. In order to accurately reflect our neighborhood's input to the administration and school leadership, we need your help. Please take a minute and take the CPRV Education Survey that is found off the CPRV website ( This survey will help us better address the concerns of the community. We need EVERYONE to participate – whether you have children at Norfolk Public Schools currently, had them there in the past, will have them there in the future or you just care about our children and the schools they attend. Our next meeting is April 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the REACH office, 2200 Colonial Avenue, Suite 16 (right behind AW Shucks on the corner of 22nd Street and Colonial Avenue). Please join us for this important meeting that will include leaders and administrators from the schools serving CPRV. For more information, please contact Sandy Cameron-Adams at 735-1271.

Knitting Mill Creek Wetland Cleanup
John Stewart

The Lafayette Wetlands Partnership teamed up with ForKids, Inc., the North Colley Partnership and the environmental science club of Maury High School to clean up the Knitting Mill Creek wetland at 46th and Colley Avenue on Saturday, March 24th. The event was the first for the Partnership and was done in conjunction with Keep Norfolk Beautiful Day.

There was plenty of work to be done, and everyone found something enjoyable to do. The environmental science club helped prune the upland shrubs while other volunteers pulled tires and concrete from the mud, picked up trash around the wetland, removed limbs and other debris that had accumulated and mulched the trees to the north of the wetland. Preparation for the event also produced recommendations for site improvements and the installation of new plants. The Partnership will be turning these recommendations into action in the coming months. Anyone interested in joining the work is invited to contact John Stewart at 623-8127 or

Haven Creek Boat Ramp Construction

The City of Norfolk Dept. of Public Works has advised that its contractor is scheduled to begin pile driving operations beginning the week of 3/26/07 on reconstruction of the Haven Creek Boat Ramp. The contractor will be starting off with driving timber piles, which should go down with “minimal fuss and bother.” The wood piles should take about a month to complete, then they will start on the metal sheet piles, which should be vibrated down instead of hammer driven. When the sheet (or concrete) piles are vibrated down into the ground, they should make less noise then if they were “hammered” down. These operations will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Public Works does not foresee overtime or weekend hours at this time, but can't totally say it won't become necessary.

Work includes construction of a new, wider boat ramp which can accommodate the launching or recovery of two boats simultaneously; new, ADA accessible timber finger piers extending along the sides of the new ramp to facilitate boarding of boat passengers; stabilization of the shoreline on the west side of Haven Creek from the new ramp to New York Avenue with steel sheet piling; construction of a timber walkway along the top of the new sheet pile bulkhead; and miscellaneous site improvements.

The City would appreciate your patience with this project as it progresses. The new facility will be a positive improvement for the neighborhood and the City. Please do what you can to share this information with other property owners, business customers, residents and visitors.

We're New To Colonial Place
Rosemary Ringer

Hello Colonial Place and Riverview neighbors. My husband Wayne and I just moved into the house at 3916 Gosnold (corner of Gosnold and Georgia) and speaking as an architectural historian, I gotta tell you, I love Colonial Place. I was born and raised in Portsmouth, but never realized there was such a jewel of a community right here in Norfolk.

You may have noticed us working around this house in the last few weeks. In that time, the house has had LOTS of work done, including tree trimming, yard work, roof work, refinishing hardwood floors, electrical work, plumbing work and about a whole lot of blinds for the many windows, etc. Lots of work. Currently, I'm searching high and low for new doorknobs. We're also hoping to find an old-house-loving handyman and we also need an electrician who doesn't use axes or chainsaws to open up old walls.

It's a great house and we love it, love it, love it. The house tells us that it's happy that we're here now. And we're happy to be here. I hope to get to know my neighbors soon. Seems like a delightful area with lots of beautiful homes!

Rosemary Thornton Ringer
Author, "The Houses That Sears Built" & "California's Kit Homes"

Up From The Soil
Jim Hoffmaster, Master Gardener

I think the two gardening chores I dislike the most are weeding and mulching. I did my weeding two weeks ago and the mulching this week and if I had been diligent about keeping up with the mulch, I would not have had so many weeds to pull this season. So let's talk about mulch …

For most homeowners, there are two basic reasons to mulch: aesthetics and practicality. Luckily, nowadays, you can accomplish both tasks with almost any product on the market. For a refined or formal appearance, there are colorized mulches on the market in red, deep brown and a striking black. These are colorized with an environmentally safe vegetable dye and are guaranteed not to fade for an entire season. There is also mulch made from shredded rubber tires and available in different shades that I must admit, look pretty natural in the landscape. The product does not decompose into the soil so there is less re-mulching. While costing considerably more, there are no real benefits for the soil with this product BUT no trees were destroyed to make this product and you are using a renewable product which is good for the environment.

If you are looking for something more practical and less expensive, go for the pine bark, hardwood and cedar mulches. They do tend to decompose faster but you are enhancing the soil at the same time. If you want to economize even more, you can use pine needles, raked and mulched leaves, peanut shells (which you can sometimes get for free if you go pick it up yourself at the plant), coffee grounds and even grass clippings as long as the grass that was cut is not too weedy. I have even gotten free mulch from the city but this is usually only available when they have a surplus. You have to be aware that when you get free mulch from anywhere, you are not always getting mulch made from trees. It may contain shredded wood from shipping pallets or treated lumber. Sometimes, you get what you pay for!

Like I said earlier, if I had been more diligent about mulching in the fall, I would not have has so many weeds to pull two weeks ago. If you mulch at least 2-3 inches think, you substantially reduce the need to weed all year long. Mulching around trees, shrubs and perennials also reduces the need for frequent watering and if the rainfall totals so far are any indication, we will need to conserver all the water we can right now.

So buy it in bulk or buy it by the bag, but either way, it's a gardening chore that pays big dividends in the long run. And your home gets a big “curb appeal” boost for the season!

April Meetings and Activities
Colonial Place/Riverview & Beyond

CPRV Meetings
CPRV Civic League Meeting
Monday, April 9, 7 p.m.
*Knox Presbyterian Church*

CPRV Board Meeting
Monday, April 16
Call CPRV President for details.

CPRV Crime Prevention Meeting
Monday, April 23, 7 p.m.
Riverview Coffee Parlor

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

CPRV Vegetarian Pot-lucks
Sunday evenings, once a month
Call 627-1176 or email

Out & About
"2007 Virginia International Tattoo"
April 20-22, 2007
Norfolk Scope, Free admission
Call 282-2800 (Virginia Arts Festival)

"Declutter Workshop"
April 28, 2 to 4 p.m.
Riverview Coffee Parlor
Call Tara Sheldon, 627-1176 or email

"Norfolk Botanical Garden's Super Saturdays"
May 5 through September 1, 2007
Call 441-5830 for details.

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 and answered only--due to spam issues--if you put CPRV and your specific issue in the subject line)

              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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