Tag Archives: Suffolk real estate

Help the Virginia Beach SPCA’s Neuter Scooter go green

I was just looking at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s website when I saw a call for folks to donate their used vegetable oil to help power the VBSPCA’s Neuter Scooter.

If you are not aware of what the Neuter Scooter is, it is just that, a scooter that the VBSPCA uses to do on-site spaying and neutering in areas outside of Virginia Beach. The Virginia Beach SPCA is currently working on making the scooter more environmentally friendly by modifying it so that it can run on bio-fuel (vegetable-based oil). By doing this, the SPCA hopes to save two-thirds of the amount of diesel fuel they are currently using to power the scooter.

In order to keep the Neuter Scooter running so that it can continue serving the Eastern Shore, Chesapeake, Franklin, Portsmouth and Suffolk, the SPCA is asking for folks to donate their used vegetable oil. If you are interested in helping the SPCA reach their goal of 250 gallons of purified vegetable oil, you can bring your used frying oil including vegetable, sunflower, peanut or canola oils in their original containers to the green collection bins located in the parking lot of the Virginia Beach SPCA. You can bring your used vegetable-based oils (no animal-based oils) anytime including when the shelter is closed.

For years the Virginia Beach SPCA has been working towards being more environmentally friendly with their “Poop Polutes” campaign. Now they are going further towards making their operations more sustainable by helping to recycle (reuse) used vegetable oils and at the same time helping to cut their fuel costs.

If you would like more information please contact the VBSPCA’s Development Director, Karla Campbell at development@vbspca.com or 427-0070 Ext. 14.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Beach SPCA’s website.

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Homicides down 25% in Hampton Roads area

While reading some artivcles in hamptonroaads.com just now I ran across one entitled, “2008 homicide rates drop 25 percent in Hampton Roads”. I was glad to see soemthing positive especially this reduction in a violent crime like murder. Some Hampton roads cities had the same number or fewer homicides while some saw a sligh increase but overall, these numbers are promising.

There were a total of 98 homicides in 2008 in the Hampton Roads region compared to 131 in 2007. The cities which showed the biggest reduction in homicides were Newport News (down 42.9%), Norfolk (down 42.9%) and Portsmouth (down 5.9%). There were no changes in Chesapeake or virginia Beach and homicide rates actually rose 14.3% in Hampton. Suffolk did not provide any statistics so I am unsure whether homicide rates rose, dropped or stayed the same.

Police sources are attributing this reduction in homicides to having removed certain elements from the local communities. According to Newport News police spokesman, Lou Thurston, “”I think over the year we have successfully removed some of the right people from the community, and I think that has probably helped in lowering the numbers.”

This is good news for the Hampton Roads area. I personally feel better knowing that homicide numbers are declining, hopefully there will be even less this year. I am wondering what the personal and property crime figures from 2008 will say. I also wonder if the current economic problems facing the nation will have an effect on thefts in general in this coming year.

Click to read this article in its entirety.

I hope everyone enjoys a Happy, safe and prosperous 2009.

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Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I was just pondering thanksgiving when I thought of those who are less fortunate the most of us.  I wondered what recourse families who are going through hard times would have this Thanksgiving when I remembered the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

According to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia’s web site, 20% of people who live in Southeastern Virginia turned to the Foodbank for help last year, that’s one in five residents.  With so many Southeastern Virginia residents in need of some extra help making ends meet, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is very busy.

With the current economic woes our nation is facing, more folks than ever are finding it hard to make ends meet.  Now more than ever, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia will need help from you in order to help those in need.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is continually accepting donations of food, money and clothing items.  They are also in need of volunteers who can help.  The Foodbank is the last chance for those who do not have enough to eat and the hungry turn to the Foodbank every single day.  Because of the great demand for food in our area, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is always busy conducting food, fund and clothing drives.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia helps people of all ages with programs such as Kids Cafes and the Senior Supplement Food Program.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help those in need.

If you would like to donate, food, clothes, money or your time, please visit the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia’s website by clicking the links below.  If you know someone who is in need and is not aware of the fact that there is a place where they can turn for help, please let them know about the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

Again, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia Website

Foodbank Top Ten Wanted Lists

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Norfolk to get Skate Park

I just read an article in HamptonRoads.com about the coming of Norfolk’s first skate park.  Discussions have taken their toll on some of Norfolk’s City Council members, but it seems that after two years of discussion and planning, the city has finally decided to build the proposed skate park at Northside Park.  The head of the Norfolk Parks and Recreation Department, Darrell Crittendon is ready to recommend to the city council that this skate park be built at the tidewater Drive entrance of Northside Park.  Several council members have already said that they would likely support this proposal for Norfolk’s first skateboarding park.  The proposed skate park is expected to cost $750,000.

For Norfolk area skateboarders this should come as excellent news.  Skateboarding on public streets and parks is illegal in Norfolk as it is in many other cities across the nation.  Having a skate park in Norfolk will make it so that Norfolk skateboarders will not have to go to parks in other cities nearby to avoid being ticketed for skating in public.  The park’s design will be collaboration between council members and local skateboarders.  The skate park is expected to be like an “urban plaza” with railings, steps, ramps and other obstacles that skaters can use to perform tricks.

Hopefully this project will be finished soon so that Norfolk area skateboard enthusiasts can have a place to practice their favorite sport legally.

Click if you would like to read this article entitled, “Norfolk is one step closer to a skateboard park“.

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Tax holiday this weekend

I just ran across an article entitled, “Back-to-school tax holiday this weekend in VA” While reading the PilotOnline.com and I was reminded of the fact that this weekend is the third annual Virginia back-to-school tax holiday.

Starting this Friday, August 1, those who are shopping for back-to-school supplies will receive an exemption from the 5% state sales tax.  Shoppers will save 5% on school supplies priced up to $20 per item as well as clothing and shoes priced up to $100.  Supplies such as crayons, paper, notebooks and pens are included, as are items such as aprons, diapers and bathing suits.  However, other accessories including briefcases and cosmetics will not be exempt.

According to surveys by the national Retail Federation, the average consumer is expected to spend approximately $594.24 on back-to-school shopping this year and the Virginia Department of taxation, estimates shoppers will save up to $4 million this year thanks to this tax holiday.  Last year, the total spent by the average consumer was $563.24.

This tax holiday comes at a time when many Virginians are paying higher gas and food prices, so it should be a welcomed savings for many parents.

In addition to tax-free school supplies, Richmond-area Wal-Mart stores also plan to offer tax-free purchases on electronics such as computers and televisions.  Besides Wal-Mart, about 12 retailers will be paying for the taxes on other non back-to-school items in hopes of motivating consumers.

If you have school-aged children, this weekend is a good time to get out there and save some money on those necessary back-to-school supplies.

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Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News in top 66 places to buy

While reading some articles on the real estate section of MSN.com, I ran across an interesting ranking titled, “66 cities where buying makes sense“.  According to research from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Newport News area has ranked among the top 66 cities where it is a good idea for those with good enough credit to make the switch from renting to owning their own home.

According to this article, in 57 of the 100 most populous metro areas it is more expensive to rent a 3-bedroom apartment than it is to buy a typical low-priced home with a 6% loan.  A low-priced home in this case is one that is priced at 75% of the area’s median price.  The article also states that if someone were to buy a low-priced home in the Virginia Beach, Norfolk or Newport News, they would build $10,449 dollars in equity by 2012, considering they were approved for a 6% loan.  If some one could only qualify for 7 or 8% interest, they would build $8,515 or $6,842 worth of equity respectively.

It is important to note that this does not mean it is a good time to buy a house as an investment, but rather that those who qualify for low financing could potentially save money every month by paying a mortgage on a low-priced home as opposed to renting.  Another upside is that they could build some equity over the next 3.5 years.  Depending on your credit score and current rent expenditure, you could pay less per month by buying a low-priced home than renting a three-bedroom apartment.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center for Economic and Policy Research have put out a report entitled, “Ownership, Rental Costs and the Prospects of Building Home Equity, An Analysis of 100 Metropolitan Areas“.  Anyone who is going to weigh the pros and cons of buying versus renting should take a look at this short report before deciding which is the better route for them.

When deciding whether you should buy a house, you should consider all of the variables.  Each case is different, while it may be a good time to buy for some, for others it could be a better idea to wait a bit.  Before you make the important decision to buy or wait for market conditions to improve, be sure to get all of the information that you need to make a sound decision.

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World Changers in Chesapeake

I was just browsing thorough the PilotOnline when I saw an interesting article about volunteer work taking place this week in Chesapeake.  For the fourth straight year, World Changers volunteers will be helping to spruce up some Chesapeake homes in need of painting, repairs and landscaping.  World Changers is a volunteer group of the North American Mission Board of Southern Baptist Convention that aims to help beautify communities where residents cannot afford to do so themselves.  Some residents who will benefit from this volunteer work are unable to perform the repairs themselves because they are disabled or elderly.

This year there will be 300 youths involved in the project.  The young volunteers come from all over the country and one has even come from Germany to help those who cannot help themselves.  Volunteers each pay up to a couple hundred dollars out of pocket in order to spend a portion of their summer vacations helping those in need.  The youths provide the labor and the city funds the materials to be used in painting, landscaping and repairing homes for disabled, low income and elderly residents in Chesapeake.  The youth volunteers will be staying at Oscar Smith High School and local area churches will provide lunches for the young workers.

This is a great way for those who physically or financially cannot maintain their homes to get some much-needed repairs, painting and landscaping services at no cost.  It is also great to see the youth of America taking a proactive role in maintaining their communities beautiful.  If you would like to read this article entitled, “World Changers help spruce up Chesapeake” in its entirety at PilotOnline.com.

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