December 2015 meeting info and President’s message

The December 2015 Wards Corner Civic League meeting will be held on the 14th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Speakers include Andria Mclellan, City Council Candidate for Superward 6, and Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for Mayor.

Below is the President’s Message:

Dear Neighbors,

Holiday Greetings to all. The holiday season is once again upon us. It is a time for great anticipation, reflection and joy as all of us celebrate our respective traditions and religions. It is also a time that we need to reflect on those in our community, city, nation and world who may not be celebrating a joyful season and reach out to them when and if we can do so. Helping those who are in need or are shut-in is perhaps the best gift we can give them. As we gather with our own families this holiday season let us not forget that there are those folks out there who may not be able to celebrate. They need our thoughts and prayers. A simple smile, hello or can I help you goes a long way to show them that someone cares. Let us also pray that our city, state and national leaders make sensible and responsible decisions for all of the residents of Norfolk, Virginia and the United States in the coming year.

As I indicated in my September message, for fifteen years it has been the mission and goal of the leadership of the Wards Corner Civic League to print, publish and deliver nearly 1000 newsletters each month to the homes in our area.  To that end, we have been quite successful.  It takes a lot of effort to write, edit, publish and deliver those newsletters.  We have believed that every household in our area should have a printed newsletter to read each month.  For the most part, our ads pay for the newsletter. We also indicated that we have other methods to bring this newsletter to you via our social media options.

Right now we find ourselves at the point where we cannot continue to deliver a printed copy of the newsletter to every household each month. The cost of printing 1000 copies each month is no longer sustainable with the ads that we have every month. The cost of the last newsletter was over $150.00 for the copies we have printed. This is approximately $50.00 more than the previous few months. With the 8 ads that we run each month we are at the breakeven point while also dipping into membership dues a little each month. Therefore we must find other ways to bring you this newsletter and still try to at least deliver printed newsletters to our paid up members. We are also exploring other options which include:

  • Raise the dues.
  • Raise the cost of posting an ad each month.
  • Posting to our website and Next Door neighbors.
  • Printing and delivering newsletters to paid up members.
  • A combination of several of these.

We would also like to hear your ideas on this so please email me any ideas. Also we will be discussing this issue at our January meeting if you are interested in weighing in on it.

The holiday season can be dangerous so follow these tips from Parents magazine originally published on, November 2005.

  1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.
  2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.
  3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your tree watered and away from open candles.
  4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.
  5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
  6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.
  7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.
  8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.
  9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.
  10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home — especially near sleeping areas.
  11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.
  12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.

Finally from my family to yours, please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season with the best of wishes for a prosperous New Year.



Jim English

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