Social Security Online Office

A link to the Social Security Online Office has been added in the links section of the OPCL site or you can use . The memo below gives some of the highlights of their site.


By Carolyn Brown
Social Security District Manager in Virginia Beach

You probably don’t need anyone to tell you that times are tough for many people right now. The past year has seen a recession-driven increase in applications for Social Security retirement and disability benefit applications. These increases translate into busier offices and telephone lines.

So if you need information, or want to apply for benefits, visit the most conveniently located office Social Security has: our online office at There, you can apply online for retirement, spouses, and disability benefits. There’s no need to fight the traffic to visit an office or wait for an appointment. Our website makes it simple, allowing you to apply for retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes.

If you’re not certain you’re ready to apply, we have online resources that can help you decide. Our Retirement Estimator will allow you to enter different scenarios to come up with the retirement plan best for you. You can find it at

A Disability Starter Kit makes it easy to prepare for your disability application. The kit explains the documentation and information you’ll be required to share on the application, and includes checklists and worksheets to help take the mystery out of applying. You can find the Disability Starter Kit at on the left-hand side of the page.

There are other things you can do online, such as applying for a replacement Medicare card, and requesting an SSA-1099 for tax purposes. You can learn about these and other online services at

Midnight Madness Adopt-A-Thon (VB Animal Control) 3/20/10

Catch Midnight Madness!
Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Control Announces
3rd Annual Adopt-A-Thon
Virginia Beach, Virginia – 16 March 2010 – The Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Control (FOVBAC) hopes to see you this Saturday evening at the Virginia Beach Animal Control shelter for the 3rd Annual Midnight Madness Adopt-A-Thon.

“Families are so busy this time of year, so we’re hoping that the extended hours of this event will accommodate more schedules,” said Leigh Penner, FOVBAC’s president and founder.  “There are so many sweet, wonderful animals at the shelter right now that are in urgent need of a forever home.  And Midnight Madness is always a fun event. There will be special gifts for “Dog of the Night” and “Cat of the Night” and some great prizes giveaways, including a $50 gift card to Outback Steak House for one lucky adopter!”

Some adopters will receive gift cards from Care-A-Lot and Pet Smart.  Paws and Purrs will offer free grooming for six adopted dogs during the event.  Additionally, the Virginia Beach Animal Control Shelter will offer $5 rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats from 5 – 7 pm.  Staff and volunteers will be available to answer any questions you have and help you find a special new addition to your family.
Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Midnight Madness! 

Saturday March 20
5pm – Midnight
Virginia Beach Animal Control
2665 Leroy Road, Virginia Beach, VA
The Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Control was founded by caring and concerned citizens of Virginia Beach to help the animals in our municipal shelter.  Each year, the City of Virginia Beach takes in thousands of unwanted, stray and surrendered animals to its municipal animal shelter.

Please visit our Web site to view adoptable pets, learn more about our organization and how you can help.

Hampton Roads center for Civic Engagement

Civic Summit Set for April 10 and You’re Invited!
–Hampton Roads citizens to gather for 2nd annual civic engagement summit
“Today’s challenges require the informed participation of the public and government organizations that are proactive about the engagement of their citizens.”

—Jim Oliver, HRCCE Chair

We hope you’re planning to join us for the 2nd Annual Civic Engagement Summit, Searching for Citizenship, which will take place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, April 10, 2010. The half-day summit will feature two nationally-known speakers with deep ties to Hampton Roads.

Bob O’Neill, executive director of the ICMA (International City/County Management Association), is a former Hampton city manager; and Bill Schneider, former CNN senior political analyst, is from Portsmouth.

Presenting Sponsor:

Towne Bank


Saturday, April 10, 2010

8:30 a.m. – Gathering for coffee
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. –  Program
    Democracy is feeling pretty messy these days.

  • We will talk about that and where citizens fit into problem-solving.
  • The Citizens Information and Communication Team will bring the results of the information and trust work started by the attendees of last year’s summit.
  • Working together, we will start the dialogue on accountability and civic engagement.
Admission to the summit is free, but registration is required.

You can register by clicking on the button above, or on the HRCCE Website.

You can download our flier for the event by clicking HERE

Bob O'NeillRobert J. “Bob” O’Neill

Executive Director, ICMA (International City/County Management Association). Bob O’Neill is well-known in Hampton Roads and in the country as a leading advocate for excellence in government. ICMA is on the frontline of the changing relationship between government and citizens.

Bill SchneiderBill Schneider

Hirst Professor & Senior Fellow and Resident Scholar, Third Way Author, scholar and former CNN senior political analyst, Mr. Schneider is also a Portsmouth native. He has been called “the Aristotle of American politics.” In 1997, Washingtonian magazine named Schneider one of the 50 most influential Washington journalists.

View Larger Map  

Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666-4350
(757) 315-1610

HRCCEAbout Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement:

The mission of the Center is to support sustainable deliberative democracy in Hampton Roads and to connect public decision making with civil dialogue and the informed judgment of the region’s citizens.

Community Partners:

HRP WHRO Planning Council

OPCL Meeting Minutes – 03/04/2010


Ocean Park Civic League

Minutes for the 3/4/2010 Meeting

OPVRS Meeting Room

Opening Presentation by Carolyn Weems, Bayside Representative to the City of VA Beach School Board

  • Carolyn spoke at length about the budget issues facing Virginia Beach public schools.
    • She noted that the School Board has been fiscally conservative
      • Last year, the School Board had 18 million left over at the end of the year, which allowed them to give funds back to the city to close gaps in the city’s budget.
      • Last year had to cut 30 million in expenses. This year, they had to cut an additional 32.4 million in expenses.
      • The School Board currently has an estimated budget in place for 2010-2011that balances the lost funding without affecting current instructional programs and without layoffs. There will also be no loss of healthcare or retirement benefits. However, if additional cuts are necessary, there will be some impact.
      • Since 85% of budget is compensation, the school board may have to increase class size by one student, which would provide 18 million dollars in savings. If this increase is needed, it would still provide lower class sizes than the state mandates.
  • Ms. Weems then commented on the Legislative Committee Issues facing the School Board
    • The Virginia Beach schools have mastered the requirements of “No Child Left Behind”. She indicated that the schools will be moving forward on a 21st Century Skills Initiative.
        • Plan is to move focus away from standardized test and focus on time management, collaboration, writing skills and personal finance.
    • Ms. Weems commented on school calendar issues
  • When Labor Day is so late in the year, as this year, the children are already in school until June 20th.
  • Since there were so many weather issues this year, and since they are mandated to have 180 instructional days, it causes issues when trying to make up lost days
  • The school board is attempting to have laws changed that will allow the schools to start up to 5 days early when Labor Day is late. The proposal made it out of senate and house sub-committee, but it was pulled off the floor.
    • The School Board is in pursuit of a Uniform Grade Policy
      • Until Va Beach instituted a 10 point grading scale, the students in Virginia Beach were at a disadvantage compared to students from other parts of the state.
      • The goal is to have all students in Virginia graded on the same scale.
    • The School Board is pursuing legislation that will disallow guns in all education buildings, not just schools (i.e. administration buildings)


Call Meeting to Order

  • President Remarks
    • Rick proposed to streamline meetings, which will allow for the OPCL to have guest speakers give presentations at the general meeting
    • Rick proposed having all committee reports on the website only and reserving meetings for larger OPCL issues as well as budget items.
    • Rick also aims to increase the social aspect of meetings.
  • Agenda Accepted
  • Old Business
    • OPVRS Update – no update from the OPVRS members.
      • Rick proposed that the OPCL’s ultimate goal is to take the money that is set aside for a new station (that OPVRS says will never be built) and spend some of that money to improve the OPCL meeting space and the overall “curb appeal” of the station. money set aside for station to update meeting room for social purposes so that the civic league can once again use the space for social events.
      • Rick noted that OPVRS is in a current lawsuit with the heirs of the original owners who deeded the property to the rescue station.
        • There is a claim in the deed that the property needed to be used as a firehouse and social hall for civic league. Since the fire station has moved, the heirs of the Newton family have claimed that OPVRS is in breach of the deed and that there is a lawsuit attempting to work out the issue.
        • At the current time, they have re-stationed a fire engine to attempt to meet the deed requirements.
        • OPVRS is not a part of the city and has its own board of directors and operating budget.
    • Pound Nets Update
      • Appeals to initial ruling claiming that Mike Wills does not have standing have been initiated, legal briefs have been filed, and now he is awaiting a court date
      • Attempting to contact USCG regarding the lighting requirement for pound nets – as the USCG required lighting and markers for navigational hazards, however, they were not in place yet. Mike noted that the civic league might have to make a formal complaint
    • 4th of July Fireworks
      • Rick is working with Scott Repert of Chesapeake Beach to have a 4th of July fireworks display out on a barge in the bay. Rick is attempting to get Baylake Pines involved as well.
      • Rick commented that his plan is to solicit donations using direct mailers to fund the display – his idea for solicitation boundary is from the Lesner bridge west to Little Creek JEB.
      • Rick is looking for volunteers to help out with the proposals and marketing for this event.
      • Rick has not come up with a final dollar amount that will be requested from the civic leagues. His ultimate goal is to not use civic league funds for display
  • New Business
  • New Logo
      • Rick presented logos to the OPCL. His goal is to use logo for marketing purposes and at some point for t-shirts/stickers/etc
      • Once approved, the logo will initially be used on beach bags for the welcome wagon committee to be given to new residents
      • Comments are welcome


    • Vote on FY 2010 Budget
      • Rick presented an estimated budget to the OPCL. The budgets purpose is to allow the board to dispense funds up to the approved amount without having to have a member vote to do so.
      • Only expenses above approved amount or not included in budget will be brought to OPCL membership at large for approval
      • Budget reviewed and accepted with only 1 nay vote
    • Future Programs
    • Rick asked for the names of people that the OPCL would like to have as guest speakers. The following names were provided:
      • Chris Stolle – Sheriff
      • Louis Jones – Bayside Rep to city council
      • Capt. Smith – Police representative
      • Philip Roehrs – Beach Engineer and Head of Public Works
      • Jason Cosby – VB Director of Public Works

Committee Reports

  • Finance (Mike Wills)
    • Robbins Legacy Report as of Feb 2010
      • 190kcurrently in account from initial investment of 180k
      • There is 9k in cash interest that can be distributed
      • The current investment strategy is 75% fixed income/cash 25% equity mutual funds
    • Ad hoc Audit Committee performed the annual audit of accounts on February 21, 2010. The only accounts available for review were from March through December, 2010. No major deficiencies were noted; however, the Committee did make a number of recommendations for consideration by the Treasurer and the Finance Committee
  • Zoning (Mike Wills)
    • No updates.
  • Social Committee (Dove Field) 
  • Neighborhood Crawl Out Event March 27th
  • Upcoming Social Events 
    • June – BBQ/Happy Hour – Lost Luau in the park. Event will be child friendly and held in the city park.
    • July – 4th of July Parade
    • Winter 2010 -Holiday Party TBD
  • Welcome Wagon (Laurie Rogers)
    • No update
  • SDCC and BAC (Grace Moran)
    • Water bill – opportunity to sign up to win lunch with the mayor.
    • Sign up represents SDCC and BAC trying to set up email database and this is the attempt to solicit email addresses to increase membership
    • City budget is coming before city council on March 16th or 23rd. Shore Drive CC on March 29th council members to tell what Shore Drive gets to keep in budget cuts and what is proposed to lose, Our chance to tell them priority
    • Thursday 18th at BAC – bikes and trails
    • Various meeting times update
  • Membership (Rick Mercadante)
    • There will be a Membership drive at the March 27th Crawl Out. There will be prizes for the members who bring in the most new members
  • Communications
    • No Update

Meeting Adjourned

City Manager budget presentation. What about Shore Drive?

City Budget set to go to City Council.  What share will Shore Drive get?

The City Manager will deliver the 2011-2012 budget no later than March 23.  Vice Mayor Louis Jones and City Councilman Jim Wood have agreed to come to the March 29 meeting of the Shore Drive Community Coalition, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Station, to give us some idea of what stays in the budget and what goes, as it relates to us.

City Council will offer their recommended modifications to the City Manager and vote on the final budget sometime in May.  Now is the time to hear and see what they will be looking to modify.  And to give our City Council representative our opinions.

If you don’t make another meeting this year, this is the one not to miss!  Visit for more details as they become available.

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