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Spring 2011: An Official Publication of the City of Norfolk

Adding chairs around the table An inside look at Asia – Trail of the Tiger Thinking positive at Lafayette-Winona Power to savings. Norfolk’s Energy Plant


Norfolk Quarterly at beginning with this issue. New issues June, September, December & March.


Keep Pushing

“Chef, is this right? A place where parents can eat the lessons.

27 6 9

At Sherwood Forest building relationships between kids and police for a better community.

Utilities Quality Service Helping residents navigate a major construction project.


1 Opening a place at the budget table 3 VA Arts Fest – a celebration of spring 5 Giving tools of success to businesses 6 At Sherwood Forest, building relationships between police and kids 7 Memories, trolleys, buses. Do you have a story to tell? 8 Meet Norfolk City Council 9 Quality Service, Utilities helps residents through construction 13 Kidzones – have fun at the library 11 Lafayette-Winona reaches for success 15 Celebrating through public art 17 Attucks – a new generation er 18 Safer railroad crossings cov Residents 23 City and VDOT partnership brings $$$ accept the challenge to guide the 25 Power to Savings – Norfolk's Central Plant budget process. Back Cover Time for kids and Tides. Page 1

On th

Over the past two months, the City administration and City Council have embarked on a new direction – one that consists of more discussion-guided decisions and ongoing evaluation of services, programs and spending. At the same time, the City is taking steps to make this process more open and inclusive. In other words, we have cleared a place at the table for you. Now the hard part, for concerned residents and employees – and for the City administration and Council – is to keep the dialogue going. Over the years, Norfolk has had mixed results when it comes to citizen engagement, but certainly many programs and initiatives have been made better because we listened. But, as residents attending a series of community conversations (page 1) made very clear, government needs to be more transparent in its decision-making, more open about sharing information and providing more vehicles for public input. The actions the City Council and administration are taking: televising and web streaming of Council work sessions and meetings; seeking input online and through meetings or email on a consistent, structured way; and appointing a Budget Advisory Panel are a start. You have pushed the door to government decisionmaking open. Now invite your friends, neighbors, children, to join us in building a better Norfolk. Check or call 664-4010 CODE 184 Norfolk INFO for new opportunities to guide your government.

Welcome One of the featured inhabitants of Trail of the Tiger hails from Brookfield Zoo and has never been outside.

Acting Director of Communications: Robert Batcher, Editor: Sandra Hemingway, Graphic Designer: Avery Easter. Contributing writers: Mary Keough, Jennifer Cauldwell, Chris Watson, Lori Crowe and Ronald Atkinson, Heather Robinson and from Norfolk Public Schools: Elizabeth Mather and Jennifer Francis. Contributing photographers: Cover photo: Ronald Atkinson, Interioir Chris Watson, Daily Press Inc, City of Norfolk Staff

Adding chairs around the table Residents, employees accept the challenge to guide government

“Honesty, timeliness of information, accountability, openness, transparency” on the part of the City government – were requests repeated over and over by participants at four Community Conversations on budget priorities and policies held during February and early March. “People first, people focused, people center,” is how one participant expressed it. At a time of year when budget crunchers are usually huddled around a table sifting through departmental requests and revenue projections, the analysts, management and several members of Council sat in the back of community centers and libraries listening to the people who pay the bills. Similar discussions were underway


time when demand for services is at record highs in some areas, from computer labs in the libraries, to recreation facilities, to repairing our schools, courts, roads and parks, the City has to find a new way of doing business. In the past, Norfolk has asked for residents’ comments and suggestions in Town Hall and Neighbor’s All meetings, in focus groups and online. Most have involved a specific issue.

Marcus Jones

Under City Manager Marcus Jones, Norfolk’s government is finding new ways to respond to a growing chorus of demands from residents and employees to sit at the table. Not just a couple of times a year, or when people have the ability and time to serve on boards or as employee representatives, but

with employees – the front line and experienced managers being tasked to find the linkages, partnerships and innovation that will save money or improve services. Prior to each Community Conversation and employee meeting, Jones briefly outlined the City’s current finances and how it is that City government faces a preliminary $32 million gap between expected revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year that begins July 1 (see chart). Revenues. For the second year in a row, real estate assessments dropped – something not seen for more than 30 years. Also, in 2012, the City will not have $8.5 million in one-time revenue used to balance the current budget (this includes money saved from clearing unused accounts and other onetime savings or income). Expenditures. Assuming no new programs, services, or salary increases, the City will spend $18.3 million more in FY2012 than in the current year. Three areas account for most of this increase: funding for the existing retirement plan; an increase in debt payments (assuming no additional construction); and anticipated light rail operating costs. There is no easy or painless way to close the gap this time, Jones told the groups. And, with five-year projections continuing to show a gap, a onetime fix will only push the problem into the next year. The reality – at a

The budget discussions go across City government and are a beginning. In a letter Feb. 4 letter to employees, during his first week on the job, Jones said “It is my goal to strive for open communication, both between City departments and agencies as well as with the public and media.” Of the budget process, he said “together we will work to identify inefficient and underutilized programs” and create opportunities for collaboration.”

O t h er s t ep s t o op en g o v er n m en t : ✔ Increase City Council meeting coverage. Meetings and work sessions will be streamed live on the web and broadcast live on the City’s channel (Cox 48). At Council’s request, Jones has identified changes in the meeting structure to increase transparency and improve efficiency. These were not finalized as Norfolk Quarterly went to press. Check for more details. ✔ Improve communication with

Ne xt S t ep s A Citizens’ Budget Advisory committee has been formed to assist with the development of the budget. A diverse group of community and business leaders will bring their experience and expertise to the table as they provide an outside viewpoint. All comments at the meetings, on written forms (provided at meetings, in libraries, recreation centers and City Hall) and made online have been compiled and will be shared with City Council. More than 600 suggestions are being eval-

Operating FY 2012 Preliminary Budget Gap Note: Funding for the Norfolk Public Schools budget comes from City, State and Federal sources. NPS is facing its own budget gap, which is not calculated in this chart.

residents. A new website now pushes more information out to the public. New sections provide detailed news on government activities.

Average adjustment in Norfolk real estate value assessments 25% 20 15 10 -4.95%

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City staff met with nearly 1,000 residents and employees in a twoweek period. Others submitted suggestions online or in written form.

Real estate assessments are projected to fall for the second year in a row.


✔ Develop a strong, forward-thinking relationship with the City auditor and take other steps within the organizational structure to enhance government operations.

uate as part of this and future budgets. The results will be shared with the public. A Budget Public Hearing will be in held in May. Details were not available when Norfolk Quarterly went to press. You may check the website Budget 2012 or call 664-6510. Your ideas and suggestions on improving government shouldn’t just be dusted off in April and May. Jones has encouraged employees and residents to continue to provide input. You can email


Virginia Arts Festival

Years in the making With the Virginia Arts Festival in its 15th year, organizers do not often have to explain “why, or where is, Norfolk.” The word has gotten out to the performance community that the festival is a happening event. Attendance in 2010 rose for the sixth straight year. Audiences of more than 98,000 people from 37 states and six countries (including 34,000 area students) attended two months of performances. It begins again this April and ends on June 20 when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – 300 singers and orchestra bring their thrilling show to Norfolk for the first time. As complex as the festival itself is – hundreds of performers in nine cities and taking the stage in arenas, churches, street corners and concert halls, it is nothing compared to the planning and logistics required to

get performers here from across the globe. It can take months, or sometimes years, to create the right mix of performers, audience tastes, venues and regional appeal. And, each year is different. When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir indicated plans to travel to the East Coast on their tour this year, Norfolk set to work convincing organizers that Norfolk -- with its mix of scenery, history, and shopping (big with choir members) – would be an ideal stop, the Choir agreed. Having a hotel within walking distance of all the downtown attractions didn’t hurt the pitch either. Rob Cross, executive and artistic director of Virginia Arts Festival can sometimes spend several years to create the opportunities to bring top notch performers to the festival

(which encompases a number of Hampton Roads cities). An example of the complexity in securing performances, and the camaraderie that often develops between performers and locals, was the effort to bring the Birmingham Royal Ballet to Norfolk for an exclusive one week engagement in 2007. The journey began in 2004 when New York’s Lincoln Center Festival invited Cross to see the ballet and meet its executive director and artistic staff during a performance there. A great kinship formed during the meeting and discussion began for BRB to come to Norfolk. Even after determining which ballet the world-famous company would perform, negotiations for fees, number of performances and the process of visas, travel, lodging and schedules took several months

Members of Republic of Korea Traditional Army Band (below) and the Birmingham Royal Ballet bottom (right) and Mormon Tabernacle Choir (above and top center) and Joshua Bell (right)


Mormon Tabernacle Choir

to finalize. (For instance, the stage set had to be shipped from England). The result was a North American exclusive run of Sleeping Beauty that coincided with the 400th anniversary of Jamestown Settlement and a visit to Jamestown by the Queen; her husband, Prince Phillip stopped in Norfolk to meet with City officials and BRB dancers. During their time in Norfolk, the dancers really became part of the community, taking advantage of dance classes at Todd Rosenlieb Studio, working out at local gyms, eating in restaurants and partaking in their favorite pastime – shopping. The Virginia Arts Festival also arranged for some tourist time, at museums, the Naval Base and the beach. Indeed, it is the welcome performers receive in Hampton Roads

cities, from festival organzers and audiences to the shop clerk and chance encounters with residents, that make scheduling return visits easier. Virginia International Tattoo: It draws people from throughout the region, the United States and the world (April 29, 30 and May 1) If coordinating one ballet troop is complex, imagine getting 850 performers from seven nations all in one place at one time – for one fun-filled week. Each year, the Virginia International Tattoo is created for five performances in Norfolk (two student matinees and three public performances). It draws people from throughout the region – and is a major draw for bus tours from throughout the country because it is one of the few full-fledged tattoos presented in North America. The Tattoo’s display of military bands, massed pipes and drums, military drill teams, Celtic dancers, choirs, and scores of other performers not only takes over Scope – it takes over downtown Norfolk. The rehearsal and performance schedule is hectic and in addition many groups perform or give master classes in schools. Also, watch for Tattoo cast members appearing in various restaurants and businesses for impromptu performances. New this year, TATTOO Hullabaloo This year the Virginia International Tattoo bursts from the confines of Scope Arena. Prior to each show,

Joshua Bell

the Scope Plaza will come alive with dancers, musicians, and much more, all presenting in trademark Tattoo style. Interact with artists, indulge in food from local vendors, vote in our first-ever audience-judged piping competition, grab a drink from our beer garden – these are only a handful of reasons to “Get Tattooed” two hours earlier in 2011. TATTOO Hullabaloo is free and open to the public and begins at 5:30 pm on April 29 and April 30, and 12:30 on May 1.

Virginia Arts Festival, 2011 This spring, the Virginia Arts Festival celebrates its 15th season with a spectacular array of artists and performances! Festival highlights in Norfolk include: ✔ Dance Theater of Harlem, April 21 ✔ The Music of Michael Jackson, April 22 ✔ Joshua Bell, April 23 ✔ Virginia International Tattoo, April 29,30, May 1 ✔ Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, May 13-15. ✔ Amadeus, May 20 ✔ Mormon Tabernacle Choir, June 20

A complete Festival calendar is available on-line Tickets are on sale for all Festival performances. Call VAF 282-2822, Ticketmaster 1-800-982-2787 or order on-line,


giving businesses tools to succeed The “We Care About the Success of Your Business” training series was created in 2008 by the City of Norfolk’s Department of Development to provide small, women and minority owned businesses with the information and tools to successfully compete for business - both locally and globally. Classes offered through the training series include: • How to do Business with the Local, State and Federal Government • How to Successfully Market Your Business • How to use Technology in Business • Business Laws and Regulations. The classes offered not only provide Norfolk businesses with training, they

give business owners access to the professionals that are experts in those selected fields. The seminars are a free and a valuable way to help business owners understand the different options and services that are available in order to remain successful, especially during these challenging economic times. The Department of Development has agreements with the United States Small Business Administration, the Virginia Department of Minority Business Assistance, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Old Dominion University, and the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center. By having these partnerships it is able to fully leverage all available resources and assets.



The “We Care About the Success of Your Business “ conducts workshops throughout the year.

The owners of Medical X-Ray Staffing Solutions, Simeon Fuller and Leon Johnson, attribute a great deal of their success to the Development Department for providing them with the needed educational resources as they went through the process of receiving this contract. Fuller and Johnson attended several classes in the “We Care about the Success of Your Business Series” and said “they provided us with good, free information, and we encourage all Norfolk businesses to attend the training series.” The company was recently awarded a $2 million federal contract with Walter Reed Hospital Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Fuller and Johnson also received assistance

The Crossroads School is a $29 million project and the first new school construction in the city since 2009. Designed by Mosley Architects, the new 145,000 square foot Crossroads School will be the city’s first LEEDcertified school, incorporating sustainable elements such as a vegetative roof and a solar hot water system. The building will also offer students the latest in technology and

with their 8a application from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at ODU. Medical X-Ray Staffing Solutions is a perfect example of how the we care program will continue to partner and leverage all available resources to ensure our businesses’ success,” said program organizer Carla Howard. For more information on Department of Development business training opportunities, please contact Carla Howard at 757-6644338, or . Detailed information for businesses of all sizes is available at Norfolk Department of Development.

academic resources, such as interactive smart boards and wireless Internet capability. The building will also provide space for an afterhours community center with access to computer labs, meeting rooms, gymnasium and game rooms. Crossroads will house 875 students between prekindergarten and eighth grade. Construction is scheduled to begin this month and the school is slated to open in the fall of 2012.

Building a bridge between police & kids

Sherwood Forest childcare participants raised $130 for cancer awareness in 2009.

RICKY FREEMAN• Building an award winning partnership between law enforcement and kids at Sherwood Forest Community Center In the four years since Recreation Supervisor Ricky Freeman took over his post at Sherwood Forest Community Center, he has built a partnership with Norfolk Police that won the admiration of parents and the community, gave children a safer place to go, and earned the 2010 City Employee Crime Prevention Award. “Ricky goes beyond just managing a recreation, community center,” said Ronda Craddock, a Norfolk Public Works employee who was one of several to nominate Freeman for the annual Crime Prevention Award. She said he helped make the center a safe place for her children to visit. A full-time employee with Norfolk's Recreation, Parks and Open Space Department for 25 years, Freeman previously supervised Grandy Village and Berkley recreation centers. The skills he learned managing those centers served him well when he took over at Sherwood Forest and encountered young men and teens loitering

near the center, which is adjacent to an elementary school. Suspecting the men were up to no good, Freeman asked them to leave. Some did. But, when a group of men became defiant, Freeman dialed 911. “Many people would be afraid to approach drug criminals, or call the police on them,” said Freeman. “As for me, I’m getting too old to be afraid of anyone.” Within minutes, officers of the Norfolk Police Department responded and the men scattered. But, Freeman knew from experience that one 911 call would not keep loiterers and trouble-makers away for good. So he decided to make the community center a magnet for officers who patrolled the Sherwood Forest community, the NPD crime prevention unit, and other law enforcement officials. In the process, he fostered a relationship between police and his young charges that will help build a better community in the future. Freeman started by inviting employees of the NPD to stop by every time the center held an event. This not only helped Freeman establish friendships with “Norfolk’s Finest,” but the center became a hub of police interactions. For example, NDP officers currently meet at SFCC each week for basket practice and games.

“I’ve never seen so many police visit our center,” said Recreation Aide Tyrone Paige, who has been assigned to the center on and off since the mid-1990s. With police cars regularly parking in front of the community center, criminals and loiterers just stopped hanging around the building, added Paige. Norfolk Crime Prevention has an “Officer Friendly” program and Freeman asked “Officer Friendly,” Officer Ronald Gilchrist to speak to children at the center’s daycare program. Gilchrist, whose job included visting schools, civic leagues and community events, said he “found working at Sherwood Forest rewarding and fulfilling. The children would ask me thought-provoking questions such as ‘why did I become a policeman’ and ‘why do people do bad things.” Gilchrist was active in supporting SFCC activities which included volunteering to chaperone field trips and speak at center events. He was instrumental in forming new in-house and outreach programs at the center, according to Freeman. Officer Ali Williams has since taken over the “Officer Friendly” role and the visits continue. “Officer Williams is very passionate about helping our youth,” said Freeman. Continued on page 10



Back to the future Give us your Memories

Do you have some memories you would like to share? Norfolk Quarterly, in partnership with Norfolk Public Library, is collecting memories of Norfolk residents young and old. Some will be published in future issues of Norfolk Quarterly or featured on the City’s website. All will become part of the NPL history archives. Please write down a memory and send it to: Peggy McPhillips City Historian Norfolk Main Library 235 E.Plume St. Rm. 309 Norfolk, VA 23510


Granby St. Electric Street Car 1940’s

ICON Award, displays her commitment to what is right. Part of the Award inscription reads:

“...Get ready, we will meet you on the 3:00pm P&N... “ Josephine McBride (above), remembers these words as she mounted the P&N trolley leaving Anderson, SC, headed to her new home and family in Greenville. There she was to be greeted by her adoptive parents W.C. & Ethel Demmons. So began more than 8 decades of riding trolleys, buses, and soon, hopes this now 102 year old, light rail.

First Trolley Ride in Norfolk 1937 In 1937, McBride served as a nurse at the Norfolk Community Hospital. She lived in cottages provided by the hospital for staff and would walk downtown from the hospital location on Rugby. Later when the hospital relocated to Corprew she continued to walk and ride the trolley. After marrying in 1945, she moved to Chapel Street, now Tidewater Drive. For 12 years she took a leave of absence from the hospi-

tal to be with her twins, Joseph and Josephine. During that time she would walk occasionally and ride the bus. “When I went back to working at the hospital,” she said,” I would walk from my home to the Corprew location. If the bus was late, I still had to be on time.” McBride has never owned a driver’s license and has always traveled by trolley, bus, and now looking forward to the light rail system. Though her daughter has insisted the centenarian travel by car now, for decades McBride did “all my travel by bus: I’d go to the grocery store, doctor’s, Church meetings... the people know me now, and get up when I get on the bus and let me sit down.”

Liberty Park Bus 1944 McBride has collected a number of awards for her community engagement, including the 2008 Crime Prevention Lifetime Achievement Award. But, one of her recent awards the 2010

“When integration was not fashionable. You were a Freedom Rider before Freedom Riders.” The Award recognizes an incident more than a half century ago, when the young nurse was on her way to work. As she attempted to mount the sardine packed bus through the front door, she was ordered to the side door. This was illegal and McBride held her ground. The bus driver pulled over and yelled to police, “Get this woman and put her in jail.” She was handcuffed and jailed. She was later vindicated in court by a judge as not guilty. McBride stayed in Norfolk, where she retired years later as Assistant Director of Nursing at Norfolk Community Hospital. But she never gave up learning. At 100, McBride was the oldest graduate of the Norfolk Police Citizen’s Academy.

City Council, Members, Meetings, and Actions


Paul D. Fraim – Mayor. Elected to Council in 1986, served as Mayor since 1994. Attorney and president of Fraim and Fiorella, PC. Council assignments: Economic and Community Business Development, Strategic Planning and Finance; Mayors and Chairs, Hampton Roads Planning District Comm; Transportation.

City Council of Norfolk The City Council is composed of eight members. The mayor is elected at large while other members are elected through a ward system. The Vice Mayor is selected by Council. Members are elected on a staggered basis for four years. As Norfolk Quarterly went to press, the City Council was in the process of revising its meeting schedule to allow time each month for one public indepth work session. Check for details on Council meetings, or call the City Clerk's office at 664-4253. Council meets in City Hall, 810 Union St. The City of Norfolk website contains information on City Council agenda and supporting documents, informal work sessions, meeting minutes and minutes of Council work sessions. An agenda overview is available on the front page of the City website late Friday afternoon or evening prior to Council meetings. Sign up at the RSS tab at the bottom of the news box to receive notice when the items are posted. Norfolk’s Neighborhood Network (NNN Cox TV channel 48) televises all Council meetings. See schedule on (NNN section) . Generally, Council meetings are re-aired at 12 A.M., 7:00 A.M., 3:30 P.M., and 7:00 P.M., through the Saturday following a meeting. You may also view Council meetings at Internet Explorer users can navigate to specific agenda items with the enhanced features. Apple product users can select from the “iPad/Mac Users” links. The City Clerk’s office is 664-4253. Suite 1001, City Hall Building, 810 Union Street, Norfolk 23510. Additional information in available at

Andy A. Protogyrou. Elected to Council in 2010. Attorney and member of Protogyrou & Rigney, P.L.C. Council assignments: Strategic Planning and Finance; Mayor's Ocean View and Greater Wards Corner task forces; Regional Jail Comm. and Highway Safety. WARD 1 Dr. Theresa W. Whibley. Elected to Council in 2006. Obstetrician and gynecologist with Women Caring. Council assignments: Health and Human Development; Riverview, Ghent, Greater Wards Corner and Lamberts Point/Park Place/Lindenwood/Villa Heights task forces. WARD 2


Anthony L. Burfoot – Vice Mayor. Elected to Council in 2002. Elected as Vice Mayor in 2007. Chief Deputy Treasurer Norfolk. Council assignments: Economic and Community Business Development; Fairmont Park, Greater Norview and Broad Creek task forces, Regional Jail; Transportation. Paul R. Riddick. Elected to Council in 1992. twice elected as Vice Mayor. Owner and operator of Riddick Funeral Service. Council assignements: Strategic Planning and Finance; Church Street and Southside task forces.

WARD 4 Thomas “Tommy” Smigiel, Jr. Elected to Council in 2010. Vice Principle Lake Taylor H.S. Council assignments: Health and Human Development; E. Little Creek Rd. Business Association; Mayor's Ocean View Task Force; Planning District Comm. WARD 5 Barclay C. Winn. Elected to Council in 2000. CEO of Winn Nursery of Virginia. Council assignments: Economic and Community Business Development; E. Little Creek Rd Business Assn.; Mayor's Ocean View and Greater Wards Corner task SUPER forces; Hampton Roads transit board; WARD 6 Transportation. Angelia M. Williams. Elected to Council in 2010. Realtor with Prudential Towne Realty. Council assignments: Health and Human Development; Lamberts Point/Park Place/Lindenwood/Villa Heights task forces. SUPER WARD 7


Quality Service with a Smile Park Place Residents Praise Service of Utilities’ Employee On a hot and steamy June day, Thomas King wipes the beading sweat from his forehead as he walks along 34th Street distributing construction bulletins to the residents of Park Place. Several residents wave from their porches as King passes by. He waves back and flashes the giant smile that they have come to know over the past few years. King has made friends with numerous residents as he has served as the Department of Utilities’ construction inspector for the Park Place water and sewer upgrade project. The Park Place project is part of Norfolk’s capital improvement program to invest millions of dollars to replace and improve water and sewer infrastructure throughout the City. While the improvements are beneficial to the residents and businesses, living and working in and around a construction zone can be disruptive. As the local face for the Department of Utilities, King visits the Park Place neighborhood daily

to not only ensure that construction crews are working efficiently, but to minimize construction-related inconveniences to businesses and residents. He regularly meets with stakeholders such as the Park Place Civic League and the 35th Street Merchants Association, among other groups, to coordinate construction activities. Cherilanne Montgomery of 34th Street sought King’s assistance one morning when she woke to bathe her children for school only to realize she had no water. She remembered seeing King, whom she referred to as “the slim guy with glasses and a really great smile and attitude,“ walking the streets in the days prior, so she took a chance that he might be in her neighborhood today. She stepped outside and there he was. Thomas took the time to help her make a few phone calls and quickly have her water service restored. Patricia Thomas of 34th Street also shared her positive experience:

Thomas King coordinates contruction in Park Place. (center, right)


Department of Utilities workers to rescue

“Mr. King made it his business to meet most of our residents on the street. He shared information about the street repairs, exactly what the city would be doing and what we could expect. He was very personable and informative about the repairs. His crew was friendly and helpful as well.” King’s kind and friendly dedication to the residents of Park Place is but one example of the service that the Department of Utilities prides

itself in providing. He is one of nearly 400 employees who work 24 hours a day to provide high quality drinking water and wastewater collection services to residents and businesses. With upgrades completed on 34th Street, King has moved on to the adjacent 35th Street water and sewer upgrade. He occasionally still drives by just to ensure the new friends he has made are satisfied with the completed work. As he passes by the residents wave; and he waves back—with a smile.

Waiting too long for wastewater to leave your home? Call Utilities. Are you experiencing a wastewater backup? Have you cleared your home’s plumbing but wastewater is still moving slowly? Give us a call! If your home’s plumbing is clear, the problem might be in the City’s wastewater collection pipe. Crews are on call 24 hours a day to keep your wastewater flowing. Call 757-823-1000 any time, day or night, and a wastewater crew will help determine if they can be of assistance or if a plumber is necessary.

Police and Kids Continued from page 6

Over time, Freeman has formed friendships not just with the NPD, but also civic leagues, athletic associations, churches, elected officials, sheriff 's deputies, commonwealth's attorneys, and firefighters, 911 operators and EMTs. The Commonwealth Attorney's Office at Freeman’s request brought its Virginia Rules program to Sherwood – a first for a recreation center. Prosecutors talked to children about state laws and the consequences of violating the law. “Mr. Freeman’s invitation to speak to kids in his daycare program allowed us the opportunity to reach a much younger population in the city,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cheryl Footman-Banks. Freeman has held a celebration each year at the center in honor of police and first responders. “This was my way of saying “Thank you” for helping me make Sherwood Forest a safe place to visit,” said Freeman. "Mr. Freeman has been very instrumental in aiding our children’s education and sports programs,” said Benjamin Cobb, President of the Sherwood Forest Athletic Association. “Because of these actions and his affiliation with the

NPD, he has helped make our community very safe and peaceful.” Cobb, whose affiliation with the SFCC goes back over a dozen years, said Freeman has added many “positive changes” to the center, such as: • Creating a drug free environment • Putting an end to fighting on the grounds and inside the center • Establishing home work programs • Involving the NPD and Commonwealth Attorney’s Office with programs involving children Additionally, Cobb said Freeman has befriended many teachers and parents. This is due mostly to his relationship with Sherwood Elementary School (which uses the center’s basketball gym for physical education classes) and the fact that SFCC is also a daycare and Little League location. “I’ve worked for RPOS for over 35 years, and I’ve never

In 2009, Sherwood Forest center and NPD gave away 55 bike helments.

seen anyone improve a recreation center so quickly and efficiently,” said Matilda Sherrod. As a recreation specialist, Sherrod is the only full-time employee under Freeman’s supervision. “I’ll admit, it hasn’t been easy working with part-time staff and limited hours due to budget cuts, but somehow we’re able to make it work,” said Freeman.

(from left) Recreation Aide Tyrone Paige, Recreation Supervisor Ricky Freeman, and Recreation Aide LaTonya White


Teacher Robin Callahan works with a small group of sixth-graders to reinforce lessons about European explorers.

Teachers colaberate in power planning session

Thinking Positive & Getting Creative Destiny Rivera and Claudia Brown stood next to the chalk board, eyes riveted on a pre-Colonial era world map. Their hands popped into the air, over and over, as they vied to answer their teacher’s questions about the European explorers who traveled to the new world. Correct answers earned them a chance to reach into a baggie of Sweet Tarts and lollipops, an unexpected treat on a school day. This was no ordinary sixth-grade social studies class. Destiny and Claudia and seven Lafayette-Winona Middle School classmates were participating in a special small-group session designed to help them master social studies objectives so they will have a better shot at passing state Standards of Learning tests in the spring. Lafayette-Winona was denied state accreditation for this year because too few students passed the most recent social studies SOL tests. The school faced challenges


last year, too, with allegations of SOL testing violations dating back to 2008-09. The small-group sessions are among a host of dramatic changes at Lafayette-Winona, brought about by a new principal and a school staff with a renewed sense of determination. New Principal Tracey Flemings came to Lafayette-Winona this summer from Rosemont Middle School, which earned and maintained full state accreditation and met federal standards for Adequate Yearly Progress on her watch. The hope and enthusiasm were apparent almost immediately, starting, simply enough, with the phone greeting callers now receive from the front-office staff: “Thank you for calling Lafayette-Winona Middle School, where we are improving student learning every day.” Flemings built on the school’s strengths: a very strong science teaching team that earned the school a 100-percent pass rate in

biology last spring; a willingness on the part of teachers to talk honestly about the school’s performance and its improvement needs; and a strong sense of loyalty among the teaching staff. “They’re willing to celebrate each other, which is great,” Flemings said. And they were eager to try new ideas that would help students and help the school. Teachers signed up to lead committees to improve community engagement, student mentorship, academic achievement and recognition. The dormant National Junior Honor Society is being revived. “We have a very dedicated staff here,” Flemings said. “They have the best interests of the students at heart, both inside and outside the classroom.” To give teachers more effective planning time and to give students “academic success blocks” in all subjects, but particularly social studies and math, Flemings

Lafayette Winona teachers and parents are working together in new ways this year.

at Lafayette-Winona Middle School designed a creative new scheduling system. For a half hour every morning, “academic success blocks” – such as the one featured at the beginning of this article – allow small groups of students to work with their teachers. Social studies and math occur every other day, while other subjects are covered on a rotating schedule. Claudia Brown is a sixth-grader who participated in social studies teacher Robin Callahan’s first academic success block, said the smallgroup instruction helps her focus, and she has improved her class grade. “When there are a lot of people around, I get distracted,” she said. “In here, all the kids are learning.” Teachers scrutinize student performance data to determine what each child should work on during the academic success blocks. Students use charts to track their own mastery of SOL objectives. “What I see is that the students,

when given that opportunity and that environment, they do want to succeed,” said Callahan. Teachers also have been reorganized at Lafayette-Winona. In the past, some teachers taught only one grade level, which meant they sometimes felt isolated in their planning and problem solving. This year, teachers have been assigned to teach multiple grade levels, so they have more colleagues doing the same work, and they can share ideas. Teacher planning sessions have been reconfigured so that subjectspecific departments, such as the math and social studies departments, have the same planning period and can work together on curriculum or teacher training. Department chairmen are responsible for monitoring the planning periods to ensure that they are successful; minutes must be taken, and lesson plans must be submitted and reviewed for effectiveness.

“There have definitely been a lot of positive changes in reference to structure and organization,” said Laura Hulings, who took over as social studies department chairwoman this year. “The teachers are working very hard. We’re all working together.” Flemings used the creative scheduling technique successfully at Rosemont Middle School, and feels fortunate that LafayetteWinona’s math department chairman came from Rosemont and is helping his new colleagues adjust to the schedule. Lafayette-Winona is preparing to launch a few more strategies, such as SOL test preparatory sessions for students, and an afterschool remediation program. “She has, in my opinion, done a very nice job of restructuring,” said Dr. Sharon Byrdsong, Norfolk Public Schools’ Executive Director for Secondary Schools. Continued on page 14



Where Play, Reading & Learning Connect @ Norfolk Public Library

Did you know that playing with your child is not only fun, but is one of the most important ways you can nurture your child’s development? That is why Norfolk Public Library has created a safe and fun place just for play in every branch.

KidZones KidZones are interactive spaces where play, learning and reading connect. They are a destination outside the home where children can interact with others, and learn valuable skills through play. The KidZones also provide a platform for parents to connect with other adults and receive invaluable early literacy information. In the KidZones, the importance of play cannot be under-estimated. Each KidZone features toys and play equipment that encourages playful discovery, stimulates early literacy development, and enhances learning. From puzzles to dollhouses to books, children will be able to have fun, and learn at the same time. There is a KidZone at every Norfolk Public Library location, and our flagship KidZone (pictured above) is located at the Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library. At Pretlow, over 11,000 square feet is dedicated to children. There is a special area called the Playscape for children ages 0 -3, and a Creative Cove Corner for toddlers ages 3 – 6. Both of these sections are filled with


developmentally appropriate play equipment. There is also a large collection of children and juvenile books for children and parents to check out. The response from the public about NPL’s KidZones has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents and caregivers are praising NPL for designating a special space for children to play and learn. A parent at Blyden Branch Library said “I think it’s a great learning environment for children. The staff was very helpful and my daughter and I enjoyed playing in the KidZone”. Another parent told a staff member that “I love taking my son to the library and playing with him in the KidZone. It’s fun, educational, and free! The KidZone is really one of the few places my little toddler and I can go to and enjoy together outside our home”. We encourage you to explore, discover and engage your child’s creativity and imagination by visiting one of our KidZones. For more information on Early Literacy at NPL, please call the Youth Services Department at 664-7323, ext. 43744.

Come out and Play at the Library! The Norfolk Public Library locations and Bookmobile are busier than ever! From the time the library opens to the time it closes, customers are busy checking out books, using the computers and Internet, attending programs, taking advantage of the KidZones, and utilizing the meeting rooms. • Circulation has increased by 23% since 2007 • Computer Usage has increased by 61% since 2008 • Over 114,000 people in Hampton Roads have a Norfolk Public Library card. 84% of cardholders are Norfolk residents • Over 38,000 children attended youth and family programs in 2010. To learn more about Norfolk Public Library and how you can get a free library card, stop by your local library, or go to

PARENTS While at the library, parents can learn about the six early literacy skills that every child needs to have to be ready to learn by the age of five: • Narrative Skills • Letter Knowledge • Print Awareness • Vocabulary • Print Motivation • Phonological Awareness

Social Studies Department Chairwoman Laura Hulings works with students.

Lafayette-Winona Middle School Continued from page 12

Parents are an essential part of the improvement efforts. The school is sending home each student’s data sheets, showing which SOL objectives students have mastered and which they are struggling with. The school has begun hosting evening workshops to help parents learn how to read the data, and to give parents ideas for helping students work on areas of weakness at home. At a parent workshop in December, Hulings, Flemings and Christonya Brown, Norfolk Public Schools’ Senior Coordinator for social studies, showed parents the social studies textbooks and how to make vocabulary flash cards

based on the curriculum. Such at-home support is crucial, Brown told the parents. “By the time they leave here in eighth grade, they will have covered 400 years of history, civics, economics and geography,” she said. “It’s a lot of material.” Parents said they were grateful for a chance to understand the task their children face. Tracy James, mother of sixth-grader BreAnn James, left the workshop with a pack of flash cards in hand. “I love this school,” Ms. James said. “They offer her a lot of support.”

Maury is turning 100 Mark your calendars for the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Maury High School on May 21 at 2 p.m. on the front steps of the school. Alumni from all decades, students, faculty and the community are invited to come out and celebrate the legacy of Maury High School. The event will include the unveiling of the original time capsule and dedication of the new one along with guest speakers, alumni tents, a commemorative booklet and refreshments. For more celebration information, go to and click on SCHOOLS and then click on Maury High School.

Parents attend workshops to learn how they can help students at home.


Celebrating through


PUBLIC ART... If you wander around Norfolk, you can find pieces of art at public gateways, parking garages, in front of schools and along fences. Some of it is funded through a special arts budget created publically-funded (generated from one percent of specified large construction projects), is part of a neighborhood redevelopment, or privately funded. Much of the art show here is housed in City parking garages, created by artists working with teen summer interns. Often art celebrates an accomplishment – a new school, a new neighborhood, a new recreation center. Sometimes the art is incorporated into a private building – such as the light display visitors to downtown can see at the top of the new Wells Fargo Tower. office building. These pages show some of our public art. PHOTOS Page 15, left to right, top to bottom: Solomon Isekeije, Celebration, Scope garage; Garth Edwards, mural and gateway, Coleman Place Elementary; Rodney Carroll, Couple in Arms, Broad Creek; Crys Warlitner, Elizabeth River, Waterside garage; Jeannie Harkleroad, Rowena’s, Attucks Theater and Ocean View Pier, Plume St. garage. This page left to right, top to bottom: Diane Husson, Wind and Waves, Bousch St. garage; Barbara Kobylinska, Flight of Gulls, Town Point garage; Richard Ward, In Search of Peace, Commercial Place garage; upcoming - Koryn Rolslad Studios will install art at Lamberts Point Community Center.


Attucks Theatre: A Community Resource Offers a Gateway for Young People to the Arts

Since its restoration and reopening in 2004, the Attucks Theatre has returned to a role as a cultural beacon, offering diverse arts activities for Hampton Roads and beyond, and, in the process, becoming the site for many youth-oriented cultural programs. “For those of us working hard to restore the glory and honor of the Attucks, the theatre is more than just bricks and mortar; it’s about relationships,” said Gail Mathieu Easley, managing director of the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center (CACC), a non-profit organization founded in 1990 to aid in the restoration and operation of the Attucks. CACC operates a series of youth-oriented arts programs at the Attucks. The City’s Seven Venues books performances into the theater. For four years, the CACC has offered a summer arts program, and this year the program kicks off June 20. For eight weeks, children and teens will be open to new cultures, new sounds, and possibilities. “Each year, 150 campers choose from a wide range of arts classes to spark their creative talents. This year, students may enjoy a blues or steelpan music workshop, create arts and crafts from many cultures, mime, or they may go ‘global’ with Express Yourself, a summer workshop with the theme of connection, empowerment, compassion, outreach and being a part of a global community. “An essential part of our mission


is to promote the education and well being of our children, especially those at-risk. In maintaining our commitment to making the arts accessible to all students who have the talent and desire to learn, CACC provides financial assistance to more than 90 percent of our summer art program campers, said Easley. The organization also offers a number of programs year-round. An Arts Incubator, that provides a safe haven for children and teens, four days a week and incorporates academic enrichment and mentorship through the arts to serve the unmet educational needs and interests of 700 individually participating children annually. The Arts Incubator includes organizations and professional teaching artists who center their artistic life year round at the Attucks. CACC arts education programming has brought over 50,000 visits (single instances of child attendance) and 4,700 hours of educational programming to the Attucks since its reopening in 2004. Other programs include Behind the Lens, which connects talented young people to the world of film and video, and RISE (Rhythm in Setting Expectations), a year-round literacy and arts education program. As important as its artistic and educational mission, CACC plays a social role, using the beauty and humanity of the African-American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and back-

grounds, according to Easley. At a time of budget and program cuts, CACC is urging business and organizations to get involved to not only help with programming, but to strengthen their mission in the community. CACC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information about CACC, contact Gail Easley, (757) 622-4763 or

“Within the Attucks cultural center lives a new generation of audiences that is finding its maturity,” said Easley. “Many of our children's lives have been changed through our arts incubator programs. Our vision is to continue making a difference in their lives.” Entertainment at the Attucks. On Saturdays in May, the Attucks will play host to four Jazz saxophonists as part of the Virginia Arts Festival: Glenn Wilson, May 7,Ada Rovatti, May 14, Gary Thomas, May 21, and Mark Turner, May 28. Also, a new lecture series has been announced celebrating African American lawyers. The Joseph N. Green, Jr. Lecture Series held its first event in April. The series is named after the man whose perseverance united the community and the City around the Attucks restoration project. For Attucks performance events, go to

Norfolk Southern operates one of the most extensive intermodal networks in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products. Its trains crisscross Norfolk as they move to and from major ports at Lamberts Point Docks and Port of Virginia. Beginning in April, Norfolk Southern is scheduled to replace or repair the track at 14 railroad crossings within the city. The work will continue through mid-July. In all but two cases (Chesapeake near Cromwell and Granby near Little Creek), the road at the crossing will be closed in both directions and all traffic detoured during the three to six days it takes to complete each crossing. A full closure is necessary because the track through the crossing is fabricated as one long piece for safety of the train and surrounding area and motorists. Trains will continue to run throughout replacement and repair project. Crossings included in this project, and the tentative order of replacement, are: • E. Princess Anne Rd. near Ballentine Blvd. • Liberty St. • Old Atlantic Ave. • Ingleside Rd. near Princess Anne Rd. • Argonne Ave. • Berkley Ave. • Chesapeake Blvd., near

Safer Crossings A major Norfolk Southern rail crossing improvement project will result in improved safety, temporary road closures at 14 locations Cromwell Rd. (4 southbound lanes) • Chesapeake Blvd., near Cromwell Rd. (2 northbound lanes) • Thole St. near Tidewater Dr. • Tait Terrace • Hanbury St. • E. Little Creek Rd., near I-64 and Granby • Lafayette Blvd. near Cromwell Rd. • Norview Ave. near Sedgefield and Tidewater Dr. • Granby St. near Little Creek Rd. (3 northbound lanes) • Granby St. near Little Creek Rd. (3 southbound lanes) Although NS is responsible for the track work, the City is working with the company to mitigate its impact on residents, commuters and businesses. The City’s Public Works, Fire-Rescue, Police, Emergency Operations, Public Schools, HRT,

Lamberts Point, Norfolk Southern Pier 6, courtesy of Norfolk Southern Corporation.

special events organizers and others will be meeting regularly with NS and its contractors throughout the replacement project. For project updates, check construction update tab, or call 664-4010, CODE 896.

Norfolk and Western, which later merged with Southern Railway, has long been a presence in Norfolk It opened pier 1 in 1885 at Lamberts Point for loading coal into waterborne colliers, courtesy of Mariners’ Museum.


Building a piece of

Asia in our backyard

& in v i t ing t he a ni m a l s hom e

Malayan tigers will share an exhibit with a waterfall, caves and manmade river.


At some point after the Trail of the Tiger opens in April, Virginia Zoo Director Greg Bocheim would like to step out onto the balcony of his office, ring a “dinner bell” and wait for the greetings from gibbons, orangutans and siamangs. Then, “I suppose I have to figure out a way to get the bananas to them.” The chorus of calls Bocheim anticipates heralds back to the earliest days of the Norfolk Zoo, when small primates greeted visitors walking by their cages. But the similarity ends there. The small primates and other Zoo animals once presented as if in an art gallery are increasingly kept in areas specifically tailored to fit their needs. It is even possible that Zoo visitors will be greeted with more quiet than racket as the Zoo's big apes and other primates eye each other from the tops of their respective poles, trees and climbing branches. "With big, open exhibits, I worry there will be awkward silences," said Bocheim. He hopes visitors will understand – especially as foliage reaches maturity and animals have the opportunity to be

illusive. “What is most important is to give animals a great place to live, while, at the same time giving visitors, especially children, a glimpse of the world beyond their homes,” said Bocheim. In many areas of the world, the habitat once occupied by tigers, orangutans and other animals is disappearing. The Asian Tigers so central to the new exhibit may be extinct within a few years in the wild. That’s one of the reasons the Zoo staff has created bright and colorful educational pieces for the exhibit. “The animals give us a chance to educate and to create better environmental stewards,” said Bocheim. Zoo animals haven’t come from the wild since the 1960s, and most animal populations are managed in species survival plans with exhibit design, nutrition and medical care guided by experts. Until a Zoo gains expertise with a certain species, it will not be given a breeding pair. Even then, animals are not bred unless there is a place for the young to go. There is rarely a cost to the zoo to acquire an animal. Sometimes,

though, two zoos find a win-win trade. One of the few Asian-bred Malayan tapirs in North America arrived from Singapore earlier this year (shipping cost $20,000) in exchange for one of Norfolk's bongos. Bocheim’s specialty is birds, and the Asia exhibit will feature both the beautiful and the bizarre. For instance, visitors will walk along an elevated path that will bring them eye level to the 3-ft long rhino hornbill “an enormous, bizarre bird” as it flies. The Virginia Zoo asked experts to help them design an outdoor/ indoor exhibit the for a pair of orangutans. They even brought the pair’s favorite toys and invited their keepers to ease the transition. But, the question of what they will think of the outdoor habitat – or even if they will emerge – is still an open question. Eventually, Bocheim hopes the Zoo will be assigned a breeding pair – “our exhibit can accommodate six orangutans.” With the opening of the Asia Continued on page 21

An orangutan pair arrive from Brookfield Zoo. The pair has never been outside.(L) a red panda will look down on visitors.

Night-time view of an entrance plaza for Trail of the Tiger. The exhibit teaches about animals and the land and culture their species call home.

Fairyblue, one of a dozen exotic birds.

A barong head, one of several along a holy area gateway.

View from the roof of the zoo adminstration building. Elevations in Trail of the Tiger vary by 200 feet.

(Above) City staff turn an “outhouse� into one of the nicest restrooms in the region. Above, standing in front of an interactive water wall. (left) Asian small clawed otters will share their enclosure with white cheeked gibbons. Both are inquisitive, social animals.


Continued from page 19

section, Bocheim sees the Zoo becoming more of a regional attraction. Attendance grew from 230,000 (a year before Africa opened) to 400,000 today. Bocheim expects it will grow to 600,000 in a couple of years that growth comes with its own issues, such as managing lines, maximizing parking, bus and stroller flow. “If you are pushing a stroller it’s important to know which way to go.” Visitors will also find plenty of new features, including a train (123,000 riders in the first year),

Norfolk traded a bongo to the Singapore zoo for one of the few tapirs born in Asia. Below left, it cost $20,000 to ship the tapir. Zoo staff pose on crate.

lion cubs, giant tortuses, a red panda (an adorable, long tailed version of the more famous giant panda – and an escape artist that kept zoo staff busy including Bocheim, who climbed the tree to coax the panda home). Asia will add another red panda. With the opening of Asia, Bocheim acknowledges that some

of the older exhibits will age immediately. Next on his list – redo the Zoo Farm to be tidy and clean and redo the reptile building in phases – so the public will still have access to the snakes, lizards and other reptiles.

NEW POOL PROJECT in Southside Southside Aquatics Center Plans to construct a 21,000-SF indoor pool facility are advancing. The center will include six (6) competition-length swimming lanes, a Zero-depth water entry area, a recreational spiral slide that extends outside the building then


back inside, spectator seating directly on the pool deck, a 195person capacity meeting room, and an off pool deck classroom; the Total project budget is $6.391M and construction on the new Aquatics Center is slated to start in Fall of 2011

Like proud parents, Zoo staff watch Mrimba, a Malayan tapir, explore her habitat. Legend has it that the tapir is assembled from several animals

Zoo staff check out a waterfall in the tiger exhibit (below). On right, a tree is lowered into place. It will take several years for foliage to grow out, giving animals more chances to be illusive.

Visitors on an elevated walkway will be at eye level to the rhino hornbill as it flys through a 100 ft. avairy.

We have no bananas. Would you like a banana tree? Trial of the Tiger By the numbers Cost Breakdown • Construction $14.2M • Design fee $1.7M • Contingency $600,000 Project Budget $17M

Project Funding The biturong (Asian bearcat) smells like popcorn.

FY’06 – FY’09 • City of Norfolk $8M • Frank Batten $7M • Zoo Society $2M Project Funding $17M

Visitors to the Virginia Zoo often admire the acres of beautiful flowers and plants throughout the grounds. What they see as beauty, many of the Zoo’s animals, birds and reptiles see as salad – for almost everything grown at the Zoo will end up on someone's dinner plate. Pansies, daisies, bamboo, magnolia trees, dandelions, all of it is grown pesticide-free. Elephants have even been know to consume entire banana trees.

NEW GYM PROJECT in Ingleside Ingleside Gymnasium The plans call for constructing a new gymnasium with a full-size college/high school regulation 84’ x 50’ basketball court, (2) side-running basketball courts, independent Men’s/Women’s restrooms, and a covered breezeway connecting to

the existing wing of the school; 6,450-SF gym area with 1,450-SF support spaces = 7,900-SF Total. The construction budget is $1.8M and construction on the gym is estimated to start in Fall of 2011


city of norfolk & vdot partnership improving norfolk ’s transportation

For decades, the City of Norfolk and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have partnered to improve both locally-owned and state-owned roads within the city. This local-state partnership has resulted in billions of dollars in transportation funding from both the state and federal government. The ultimate goal is to improve safety conditions and ease traffic congestion on roadway system within Norfolk and in Hampton Roads. The partnership, in essence, allows local and state governments to combine resources to serve our transportation needs. The Department of Public Works Division of Transportation serves as the City’s liaison with VDOT on the design and construction of roadway and interstate/ tunnel/bridge projects. The current VDOT program includes over $20 million in Locally-administered, VDOT-funded (1) design/construction projects and over $500 million in VDOT-administered (2), VDOT-funded design/construction projects. There are two types of partnership projects.

hampton roads bridge tunnel



Locally-administered: Roadway projects that receive state and/or federal funding, and are managed from project initiation to completion by the City of Norfolk. VDOT reviews all locally administered projects to ensure that state and/or federal funding requirements are met. Locallyadministered projects currently under construction include: Military Highway/Virginia Beach Boulevard Traffic Signal Improvements; Monticello Avenue/26th Street Traffic Signal Improvements; East Ocean View Avenue and Hampton Boulevard Traffic Signal Cabinet Upgrades.


VDOT-administered: roadway projects that receive state and/or federal funding and are managed from project initiation to completion by VDOT through close coordination with the City. Design, acquisition of necessary right of way, and construction is done under VDOT administration. City/State Agreements are typically executed by the City and VDOT to allow VDOT and its contractor to construct roadway improvements within the City right of way. VDOTadministered projects currently under construction include: Hampton Boulevard Grade Separation Project; and Princess Anne Road/Sewells Point Road Intersection Improvements.

The State has received bids from private companies to develop and operate the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

Within the next five years, the following major City/VDOT projects are anticipated to be under construction: ▲ Norview/I-64 Ramp improvement project (VDOTadministered) – Construction starting in 2012

completed projects

Between 1998 and 2010, major projects completed under the VDOT partnership totaled $236 million.

4th view

Cost $5.1 million

▲ Wesleyan Drive Widening project (joint project with City of Va. Beach) (City-administered) – Construction starting in 2012 ▲ Norview Avenue/Military Highway Intersection Improvements (VDOTadministered) – Construction starting in 2012 ▲ Military Highway Widening projects (VDOT-administered) – Construction starting in 2013 The City and VDOT also coordinate daily on interstate, tunnel, and bridge maintenance work being done in Hampton Roads. This frequent communication is critical to relieving congestion within the City and enhancing our traffic network. As VDOT-funded transportation projects and VDOT maintenance work on our interstates advance within the City, both the City and VDOT will work together to ensure that community input and outreach is provided during all phases of work. The long-standing partnership between the City of Norfolk and VDOT is a responsive, successful, and cost-effective state and local partnership that relies upon shared goals and a strong desire to work together to improve the transportation within our City.

St. Pauls blvd. Cost $4.2 million

Tidewater dr. Cost $4.2 million



Norfolk's Facility Maintenance Division maintains heating and cooling systems in over 160 buildings. The use of computerized HVAC control systems centralizes the heating and cooling allows the city to save energy. Since 1980, the city has been increasing its efficiency by installing Energy Management Control Systems in building after building. Today, most of the larger facilities are operated remotely from the Central Energy Plant Control Room via computer interface and Park Place Multi-Service Center will be added to the list this year. With many of Norfolk's buildings 30-plus years old and when gas, fuel oil and electric bills total more than $5 million annually, the division is always on the look-out for ways to make the City more energy efficient. The City is diligent in purchasing all of its energy sources: oil, kerosene, gas and electricity, at the most economical prices. It does this by consolidating its purchases: electricity is purchased through the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association; natural gas is purchased through a State contract at the best available price, and delivered by Virginia Natural Gas; fuel oil and kerosene are purchased at the daily posted price at the local distribution terminal (Then the oil supply company charges a fixed price per gallon to deliver the fuel to our facilities). FEDERAL STIMULUS MONEY COMING TO CIVIC CENTER The Central Energy Plant directly provides chilled water and steam to heat and cool the 561,900 square foot Civic Center complex (City Hall, Circuit and General District courts and the City Jail). Engineers at the Central Plant already use some of the most creative energy savings concepts in the region. For instance, the City saves thousands of dollars by operating a 1.3 million gallon chilled water thermal storage system in which water is cooled at night, when electrical power rates are lower, and stored for use during the day to provide air conditioning to the buildings.


In February and March, the Central Energy Plant started a major upgrade that will do even more to improve energy efficiency. Staff researched some wonderful concepts and improvements designed to save energy and control the costs for the City and some of the upgrades are taking place with the current renovation. How is this upgrade possible? Teamwork- Public Works’ Design, Construction and Facility Maintenance divisions worked on the technical aspects; while the City applied for and received $1.8 million in federal stimulus money to help reduce energy costs by using advanced technology and retrofitting existing equipment. The City cost was $2.2 million. Details of the upgrade are explained below:

Heat - Today, the plant operates three 350 horsepower dual fuel boilers (capable of burning natural gas or oil). Last year the central energy plant burned 46,391,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The plant also holds 30,000 gallons of oil in an underground storage tank – or enough to heat the civic complex for about 10 days in the winter. Steam transfers the heat from the boilers to our remote buildings and to heat our offices and facilities. The upgrade will take energy conservation to a new level. Each boiler will receive new burners and a programmable logic controller to carefully control the fuel air mixture and to continuously tune the boiler to peak operating efficiency. Today, existing burners operate by using a modulating motor to move a series of linkages connected to the air damper, gas control valve and fuel oil control valve. Technicians must manually adjust each of these linkages - setting the relationship of fuel to air at each position through the firing range. The new burners will use computer controls to continuously adjust the fuel air mixture and an oxygen sensor will be installed in the exhaust stack for each boiler. The amount of air forced through the boiler is critical to not only the efficiency of the heating system (losing less heat up the stack), but also to the safety of those in the area as it can cause an explosion if too little air is sent through. The



plant is also purchasing a smaller and more energy efficient 200 horsepower boiler – to use in summer when heating (primarily hot water) loads are lower. But, even using the most advanced burners, safe operation requires excess oxygen in the stack. That means forcing heat out of the boiler before it is completely used. If the temperature at the burner is about 1900 degrees, by the time it reaches the stack it is 400 degrees. Engineers saw opportunity in that 400 degree heat escaping the stack. So each boiler stack will have a stainless steel economizer – in essence a heat exchanger or coil to preheat the water before it is fed into the boiler. Hotter water going into the boiler means less fuel is burned to produce the steam that heats our buildings.

Cooling - The existing Central Energy Plant has three 660 ton chillers to cool the civic center. The average home in Norfolk is cooled by a central air conditioner system about 2 or 3 tons in size. This means that each of the Central Plant chillers could cool about 200 homes. Replacement of many of the decades old cooling coils within the Civic Center is a major part of the renovation. Most of the air conditioning equipment in the Civic Center is original, installed between 1958 and 1960. The new coils will have more rows and a different design to produce a higher temperature difference, about 17 (rather than 10) degrees difference between supply and return. This difference in the chilled water volume will reduce the amount of water to be chilled and stored saving considerable energy. A new 600 ton chiller will be equipped with a variable speed drive to maintain maximum efficiency at variable cooling loads. The result will be a larger, more efficiently operating plant where operators will be able to select the most efficient chiller to use based upon the outside temperatures and current cooling loads. The chiller will use environmentally friendly refrigerant. When the renovation is complete the plant will have over 2,500 tons of refrigeration capacity. With the addition of the fourth chiller, the plant was required to replace and expand the capacity of the cool-

ing towers. The cooling towers are the component in the air conditioning system that allows them to reject the heat in the buildings to outside air. The new towers provide the opportunity to create a free cooling economizer mode for our system. The chillers are operated to produce 41 degree water to use for air conditioning our buildings. Operations would be even more efficient if there was a way to produce this chilled water using only outside air rather than operating a full sized chiller. With the new renovations, design engineers created a special piping arrangement to a heat exchanger that allows the plant to operate the condenser pumps and cooling towers to actually produce 41 degree chilled water. In this mode only pumps and fans are used to produce chilled water. With the upgrades to mechanical equipment and the increased Central Energy Plant capability and capacity, an automation control upgrade was necessary. The success of the improvements is largely dependant on the ability of the operators to control all of equipment is each of the different modes of operation needed to produce the energy savings. The control systems are being upgraded and the company upgrading the systems will be providing new variable speed drives for the pumps serving the storage tank, the primary cooling pumps, secondary chilled water delivery pumps, and the four cooling tower fans. By creating a variable flow system for both the heating and cooling components, energy consumption at the Central Plant will be continuously adjusted. Cooling costs are further reduced by off peak chilled water generation and use of the thermal storage system. There have been a lot of changes since the Central Energy Plant opened in 1990 and began centralizing the City’s energy usage but the renovations being made now are taking our city to a whole new level. Not only is the staff working to save money on energy consumption, but they are also looking at becoming more energy efficient at the same time, which makes the changes at the Central Energy Plant a win-win for employees and citizens alike.


Sliced, Diced & Sautéed Success at Norfolk’s Newest Eatery


Comfort comes in warm bread loaves, in sharp cheddar cheese and a glass of sweet iced tea. In a flurry of well-balanced moves Damon Armstrong moves through the kitchen, turning down burners, wiping plate edges and slicing seasonal vegetables.

“Chef, is this right?” “Chef, is this done?” “I’ve got it Chef.” Armstrong, instructor of the Culinary Arts Program at Norfolk Technical Center, gives quick directions to one student dabbing aioli onto herb ciabatta, and watches another flip thin slices of red peppers over a flame. Meanwhile on the other side of the kitchen, Lake Taylor High School senior Simone Lowe flips sizzling strips of steak in a small sauté pan with a gentle flick of her wrist. Next she tosses in florets of broccoli and ribbons of carrots and onion. The sultry scent of ginger and sesame dance in the air above her station as Lowe gives the stir-fried concoction one last flip before sliding it all onto a platter of rice. “Think lunch portions,” Armstrong gently coaches the second-year Culinary Arts student. “Think healthy sizes for a midday meal.” Armstrong uses his whisk in a flash of clockwise arm motion, then sprinkles in seasonings with a dash of expertise. Armstrong after all, is more than an occasional cook, he is the chef leading a group of up-and coming culinarians at Norfolk’s newest lunch time eatery, the Gentry Café. Open for lunch service from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, junior and senior culinary arts students help prepare and serve lunch fare at the Gentry Café for their parents, school faculty and visiting community members. Even the public can visit for lunch by signing in at the main office and venturing down to the café for a menu focused on healthy cuisine and seasonal foods. Armstrong and his students have been working toward opening the semi-public café at Norfolk Public Schools’ Technical Center for over a year and a half. In the early days, the culinary program was housed in a classroom equipped with one stove and one refrigerator. In just the past three years however, catering gigs have helped the program to flourish, landing the students in a state-of-the-art kitchen with a café-style seating area. In an effort to go green, the café was pieced together with recycled furniture, donated equipment, and refurbished wood and building materials. The Norfolk Technical Center’s carpentry class donated their time to construct a restaurant-style counter to divide the

kitchen from the cozy customer seating area. On any given day, the café ranges from a full house of restaurant clients to a quaint customer base of two or three. Menu items change frequently too as students learn about various cuisines and stretch their culinary skills. Here diners can tempt their taste buds with whole wheat penne pasta with feta and grilled vegetables, Chesapeake Bay back fin crab dip, catfish po’boys and grilled chicken and cheddar sliders. Prices are reasonable, and the talent of young chefs like Booker T. Washington High School senior Rakevis Lacey is immeasurable. “It’s really opening my eyes to the restaurant industry and teaching me how to make it in this field,” Lacey said. “I want to own my own bakery one day, to be a pastry chef, so this is my start.” Here, students like Lacey have an opportunity to explore the kitchen without stereotypes or stigma. Whether it is Asian cuisine or cake decorating, the field is wide open. “People used to think that this was a girls’ class, but it’s a great place for guys to get into the business,” Lacey said. “Chef is proof that men can be successful at this.” Armstrong said the café also provides a new generation of culinary professionals the opportunity to get real-world experience while exposing them to innovative dishes and healthier meal options. “If teenagers see other teenagers cooking, preparing, and eating foods that are good for them, then their

own perceptions and eating habits will change,” Armstrong said. “We are trying to start a food revolution.”

And it appears to be working. Former NTC and Booker T. Washington High School student Justin Burrus recently graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is volunteering his time in the Gentry Café kitchen as a mentor. Prior to graduating from the Culinary Arts program at NTC in 2007, Burrus was a cook that loved his deep-fried southern roots. Today, he is 100 pounds slimmer, thanks in part to learning valuable lessons in Armstrong’s class about how to make food that is healthy and delicious. “When you are willing to open yourself up to trying new things, new flavors, the possibilities are amazing,” Burrus said. “The real art to being a good chef is to create new flavors and feed people things that they love and that are healthy for them.” And the 41 chefs at Gentry Café are waiting to introduce you to the newest flavors in town. “You’re going to get the best meal in town,” said Granby High School senior Ebone King. “You’ll definitely want to come back again and again.”

Chef Armstrong (right) shares his cooking expertise.

Northside Skate Plaza Now Open for Spring Season The plaza is open Monday-Friday from noon to dusk and Saturday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to dusk, through the last day of the school year. Check the website for summer schedule. Admission is FREE for all Norfolk residents! The Norfolk Department of Recreation, Parks and Open Space invites you to get out and play! For more details, visit 8401 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, VA, Inside Northside Park


NORFOLK QUARTERLY is an official publication of the City of Norfolk.

City Council Paul D. Fraim Mayor Anthony L. Burfoot Vice Mayor Angelia Williams Andrew Protogyrou Paul R. Riddick Thomas Smigiel Dr. Theresa Whibley Barclay C.Winn

City Manager When the Norfolk Tides Baseball team takes to the field April 16 for their season opener against the Charlotte Knights, the Tides organization will kick off another season of kidfriendly and community programs. The programs include: Orioles Reach, which enables non-profit organizations working with lowincome clients the opportunity to offer a Tides

game courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles; Field of Dreams, which gives Little League players an opportunity to run out with the players for the National Anthem; and a reading program for elementary age students to which over 40,000 students in Hampton Roads have signed up to receive free tickets. See Norfolk Tides at

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Marcus Jones Norfolk Quarterly is published four times a year by the City of Norfolk Communications Bureau and a number of other city departments. 302 City Hall Building 810 Union Street Norfolk, VA, 23510 Phone: 664-4266 Fax: 664-4006 Web:

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Norfolk Quarterly Magazine Spring 2011  

Norfolk Quarterly Magazine Spring 2011 issue Norfolk Budget meetings with citizens, New Zoo Animals and Zoo features, Norfolk Culinary scho...

Norfolk Quarterly Magazine Spring 2011  

Norfolk Quarterly Magazine Spring 2011 issue Norfolk Budget meetings with citizens, New Zoo Animals and Zoo features, Norfolk Culinary scho...

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