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Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! 

The GPRA Board wishes you a joyful Mother’s Day celebration!

Saturday Neighborhood Events Rescheduled to May 14 Due to Weather!

Third Annual Art Pop-up, Saturday, May 14, 10 am to 3 pm, 1501 Wilmington Avenue, Laburnum Park

Hosted by Nancy Falcone and Mark Vasas, this shw and sale features the creations of local artisans in a unique marketplace venue, the garden of Nancy and Mark. Through the garden gate, you will find paintings, jewelry, ceramics, hanging beads, garden art, succulent plants, baby rompers, and more! Find unique treasures and gifts, support local artisans, and enjoy a day out in our beautiful neighborhood. Free admission, on-street parking.

Ginter Park Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale, Saturday, May 14, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Begin your treasure-hunting at the Community Garden of Ginter Place, 1350 Westwood Avenue, for complimentary coffee and donuts, and pick up the list of participating homes. Want to participate?  Email Margaret Barre, mgb.elf@gmail.com 

Cinco de Mayo Member Appreciation Party One to Remember!

GPRA Members gathered at the home of Julie O’Kelly, Board Treasurer, last evening for a festive Cinco de Mayo party to express our appreciation for our Members. It was a happy scene, with old friends and new engaged in lively conversations and enjoying the most delicious buffet of taco fixings and sides, capped off with S’Mores made at the firepit and Susan Rebillot’s Mexican Brownies. GPRA thanks Mark Vasas for contributing the delicious fajita steak and chicken strips for the tacos and for the Guacamole. Julie’s homemade Sangria, Queso-Sausage Dip and Chicken Enchilada Casserole were hits with the crowd. Thank you, Julie, for graciously hosting and for your culinary skills!

Not a Member yet?  JOIN!  Together, we can do more.  Your Membership Makes a Difference in our community!

 

 

 

 

Fall Line Trail-a Message from GPRA Board Vice President, Randee Humphrey

Yes, it’s time to catch up with the decade-long regional transportation project aptly named the Fall Line Trail–a 43-mile bike-and-pedestrian friendly pathway that will connect Ashland to Petersburg.  There’s a lot of public information available, and informational meetings have been underway for awhile–I attended one back in November 2019 about segments of the trail planned for portions of Henrico County, including the Lakeside corridor.

Though I wasn’t able to attend an informational meeting May 3 hosted by VDOT, I learned from Louise Lockett Gordon, Director of Bike Walk RVA/Sportsbackers that the meeting was mostly focused on sections from Petersburg up to Chesterfield near Chester Linear Park, and from the end of the completed Ashland section through Hanover and crossing the Chickahominy River to Henrico near Lavender Fields. Louise clarified that “sections through urban Richmond are more complex than other rural and suburban areas of the trail alignment, and the design will take some fine tuning.”

Dironna Moore Clarke from the City of Richmond’s DPW Office of Equitable Transit and Mobility is the key person from COR handling the details of Richmond’s sections of the Fall Line Trail as they develop.  She advised that “at this time funding for this segment (COR) has not been identified and therefore moving past the conceptual stage to design and then implementation is essentially halted until funds are identified.”

So while the wheels of this project sometimes appear to be turning fast, and GPRA residents may feel the need to pedal even faster, the reality seems to be that concrete public engagement and input on design and implementation of the Richmond portions of the Fall Line Trail is still ahead. I have used email to express my support of the Fall Line Trail in concept, while also registering concerns about the potential loss of tree canopy and green buffers along Hermitage Road; the heat island impacts of more impervious asphalt surfaces; and the potential public safety hazards of a trail that passes through a densely populated residential (and historic) district. I’ve also offered to help organize neighborhood association public meetings so that we can all take part in future design discussions. I’ve copied City Council members Katherine Jordan (2nd District) and Ann-Frances Lambert (3rd District) and their liaisons and have been reassured that “they share your commitment to protecting (and expanding) our urban tree canopy, and that will absolutely be a priority from the City in the development of the granular details with respect to the Fall Line Trail.” In addition, I have received a second confirmation that “tree removal will be minimized in the planning; the route configuration for the stretches of the trail that go along Hermitage, Brookland Parkway, and Brook Rd are all not final; and there is significant opportunity remaining for direct feedback from the public on the plan.”

So stay tuned for more “trail markers” about future options for more information and design input on the Fall Line Trail and consult the resources below so you can get up to speed!

Randee Humphrey, GPRA VP

Laburnum Park

Sportsbackers/Bike Walk RVA:  https://www.falllineva.org/

louise@sportsbackers.org

Central Virginia Transportation Authority/Fall Line Working Group:  https://planrva.org/transportation/cvta-fall-line/

dironna.clarke@rva.gov

Virginia Department of Transportation:  FallLine@vdot.virginia.gov

Friends of the Fall Line:  https://ashland-va.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=1&event_id=1244&meta_id=62439

RPD 4th Precinct Leadership Offer Neighborhood Safety Strategies at RPD-GPRA Community Meeting

On May 3, 4th Precinct Commander Captain Donald Davenport and Lt. Robert Fleming met with concerned East and West Seminary Avenue residents at a meeting requested by GPRA President, Susan Rebillot, to address crime concerns in the northern portion of our neighborhood. The meeting met our expectations, in that we departed with a commitment from our precinct leaders to strategically focus RPD manpower on the problematic area. Here are the highlights:

  • Crime is up all around our city.
  • While there are vacant positions within RPD, leadership has a method to prioritize officer responses, and to focus manpower where there are patterns of incidents. So, it is critical that you call 911 always in response to gunfire, and always when you believe that a crime is occurring.  Do not call the non-emergency number. Do not worry that others have called–call 911! Lt. Fleming reviews the 911 call log every morning, and then makes determinations about allocating focused manpower.
  • 911 calls are rated on a scale of 1-6 based on immediate threat and police officers will respond to the calls based on the highest level of threat. If you hear gunfire and it’s not an immediate danger to you, officers may not respond right away because they are already responding to higher level threats somewhere else. Even though you don’t get a response, it’s still important to call  911 and report what you’ve seen/heard because your information will be bundled together with other calls to determine trends.
  • Do continue to be observant, vigilant, to keep notes, and to email Lt. Fleming detailed notes about incidents. robert.fleming@richmondgov.com
  • Commander Davenport personally does not support a Crime Watch program for Ginter Park. The current crimes of concerns present risks to us. Make your observations from a distance. He does recommend that if homeowners are willing, that they make smart use of security cameras and provide the videos to Lt. Fleming.
  • Captain Davenport committed to patrolling the alley between East Seminary and  Chamberlayne Avenues more frequently. As helpful as the meeting was toward creating a sense of urgency about criminal and suspicious activity there, we need to make sure the 4th Precinct continues to hear from us when we see something suspicious or hear gunfire.
  • Kiya Stokes, Liaison to Councilwoman Lambert commented that perhaps the Councilwoman could visit landlords of properties identified as problematic to promote their cooperation. Susan Rebillot will followup with Kiya about this.

The GPRA Board recognizes and thanks Sally Brown, District Rep, Plum Cluverius, Block Captain, and  neighbors on East and West Seminary Avenue for looking out for each other and for alerting the Board and for working with RPD to be part of the solution. Thank you to Plum for taking excellent notes of the meeting!  We thank and appreciate Commander Davenport and Lt. Fleming for a fruitful meeting and for educating us about RPD processes. Susan Rebillot will continue to be the point of contact for Public Safety until we have a new Public Safety Chair. safety@ginterpark.org is monitored daily.

District 3 Community Meeting, An Invitation from Councilwoman, Ann-Frances Lambert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings Team Third District!

When you elected me in 2020, you told me that you wanted me to lead on the issues that are most important to you. From my recent conversations with you, your calls, and your emails to me, it’s clear that you want something done about the gun violence epidemic that is affecting the River City. Whether it’s a seasoned senior who is scared to leave her home, a business owner that has customers that are deterred from coming to her store, or a family that is scared to play in their yard because of random gunfire, this public health epidemic must be addressed!

Last year, the Mayor, my colleagues, and I officially declared that gun violence is a public health crisis. I also served on the City’s Gun Violence Prevention Task force and the full task force report was released in April.  You can click here to read the report or click here to read an an article about our plans. We have met, we have studied, and we have brought together stakeholders who want to be a part of the solution. Now it’s time for action and implementation!

To that end, I will be having a Third District meeting on Wednesday, May 11th at 6pm in the auditorium at Henderson Middle School (4319 Old Brook Rd.)

I will be there along with other city leaders, including Mayor Levar Stoney, Police Chief Gerald Smith, Sheriff Antoinette Irving, and Fire Chief Melvin Carter. We will lay out the city’s plan to stem gun violence and there will be time for a constructive dialogue with audience members.

I am committed to do my part, but I need your help Northside. Let’s attack this problem together, ALL HANDS ON DECK!

(If you are unable to attend the 3rd District Public Safety Community meeting in person, you can call in to participate. Be sure to send Kiya Stokes an email Kiya.Stokes@rva.gov, and he’ll make sure that you can participate virtually.)

Richmond Public Schools Need Our Support!

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

Many Northside Teachers have active projects at Donor’s Choose.  Please consider donating towards a project or two today!

Henderson Middle School

Ginter Parker, Georgia Coopersmith, is organizing Motivational Goody Bags for the Communitites in Schools Coordinator, Ms. Lenore, Henderson Middle School, for all 450 students.  The students of Henderson are challenged-100% qualify for the free/reduced lunch program. While the school improved its standardkized testing ranking in 2021, it still ranks lower than 78.5% of the middle schools in Virginia.  The motivational tote bags will contain some basic school supplies, water, a snack for students who are preparing to go into testing May 23. Contact georgia5905@gmail.com to donate for this project. Teachers, students and Mentors  are working hard on barriers to success.

Want to become a Community in Schools Volunteer?

https://www.cisofrichmond.org/

GPRA Calender Updates – Don’t Miss a Thing!

Tuesday, May 10, GPRA Board Meeting, 7:00 pm, St. Paul’s Catholic Church Fellowship Hall.  All Board meetings are open to the public; but, if you would like to discuss a topic, please contact Susan Rebillot, president@ginterpark.org to be added to the agenda.

Saturday, June 5, 12:30 pm, Annual GPRA Picnic, Shalom Farms Northside on Westwood Avenue, all residents within GPRA boundaries are invited. GPRA will provide Lee’s Chicken, Iced Tea, Lemonade, Water, and paper products. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share-here’s an opportunity to bring one of your specialties, or just pick up your favorite convenient dish from the market if life is just too busy. We will be inviting special guests from RPD, RFD, from RPS city government. More details as we confirm. Can we count on you to help set up and clean up?  Contact Susan, communications@ginterpark.org