April 2011 message and meeting info

The April 2011 meeting will be held on the 18th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.
The Agenda includes an invitation to City Manager, Marcus Jones, to present.

Here is President Jim English’s message for March 2011:


Dear Neighbors,

I have good news and bad news to report this month. First the good (or should I say great) news.
Our own Martin Thomas Jr. has been appointed by City Council to the Planning Commission. Congratulations Martin! This means we will have a voice and vote on the Planning Commission when it comes to development decisions in our Greater Wards Corner area. This is first for us as we have never had a voice on this Commission and hence have had a hard time getting the votes needed in development decisions that will ultimately go to City Council. With his vote he can vote against such projects as new apartment complexes and other businesses that we may or may not find favorable in Wards Corner. I am not aware of any other appointments to the city’s many boards and commissions from our civic league area. I have served for many years on the Norfolk Environmental Commission and currently serve on the Norfolk Public Health Advisory Board. We wish you well, Martin, in your new appointed role and we know that you will serve us well.
In the bad news department, the Virginia General Assembly has gerrymandered the State electoral districts and Norfolk has unfortunately lost another delegate in the Republican controlled house redistricting plan. While Norfolk population warrants three delegates, we have lost Paula Miller and her district. This means that we will have someone from another City (Portsmouth or wherever) representing us. Isn’t that exciting! I can’t wait for them to accept my invitation to our civic league meeting when they (whoever) run for office and come to our March General Assembly update meeting. Let’s see how well they will represent Norfolk and us. I would encourage each of you, if you don’t like this arrangement, to send the Governor an email or letter letting him know of your dissatisfaction of the lack of meaningful representation for Norfolk and our area to the general assembly. This is the second time in ten years that this has happened to Norfolk and our area. We lost a delegate from our area the last time redistricting was done. Fortunately we still have two Senators for Norfolk and we will still have Senator Ralph Northam representing us in our area. You should be infuriated with this gerrymandering plan. I am.
Finally, I need to report that despite what our community police are telling us regarding the crime in our area, robberies and burglaries are up in the Greater Wards Corner area. The following was recently posted on Wards Corner Now and all are encouraged to heed this advice.
“With the increase in reported robberies and burglaries in and around the Wards Corner area, please be reminded to report all suspicious activity to the police. What is suspicious? Below is an excerpt from the Norfolk Neighborhood Coordinators’ Manual, developed by the Crime Prevention Division of the Norfolk Police Department.
Basically, anything that seems even slightly out of the ordinary . . . could be criminal activity.”
Examples (not a complete list):
• A stranger inspecting or entering your neighbor’s home while your neighbor is away.
• Someone trying to open a neighbor’s door or window.
• A moving truck or van pulled up to a neighbor’s home while they are gone.
• Remember, burglaries often occur at times when they should be most obvious (broad daylight, in full view of observers).
• Someone carrying property such as televisions, stereos, etc., at an unusually late hour or in an unusual place, especially if it does not appear that the property is newly purchased.
• The sound of shattering glass could signal a possible burglary, vandalism or larceny in progress.
• Anyone peering into vehicles as they walk down the street or someone removing tags, gasoline or parts from a vehicle.
• Someone attempting to enter a vehicle using a coat hanger or other device.
• Never assume that it is the owner who has locked his keys in his car. Be suspicious of anyone tampering with the hood or trunk of a car.
• An improperly parked vehicle or abandoned vehicle or someone leaving one vehicle and driving away in another may be signs of a stolen vehicle.
• Anyone being forced into a vehicle could be a victim of possible abduction.
• Persons loitering around schools, parks, and isolated areas or in the neighborhood. These loiterers could be possible sex offenders or burglars.
• Business transactions conducted from vehicles, especially around schools, playgrounds or parks.
• A steady flow of strangers to and from a particular house on a regular basis could indicate drug sales or a fencing operation (purchasing of stolen goods).
• Offers of goods or repair work at an unusually low price could indicate stolen property or some type of fraud.
• All fights, screams and loud noises (such as explosions) should be reported.
• Door-to-door solicitors without properly issued licenses and identification should be suspected.
Emergency: 911 Non-Emergency: 441-5610
Lastly, please visit our website http://www.wardscorner.com or http://www.wardscornernow.com to read more about this and other important news items affecting our area. I hope to see you at our next meeting on Monday, April 18th at 645PM at the Wellness Center.



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