Henrico County VA
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The Citizen at 13


Thirteen years ago tomorrow, the Henrico Citizen published its first print edition. It was nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and in retrospect, probably the absolute worst time to start a business of any type.

Of course, I hadn’t planned to launch the Citizen nine days after unimaginable national tragedy. The truth is, I never expected to own a newspaper, or any other business for that matter – much less to start one from scratch.

But the simultaneous beauty and uncertainty of life – for better or worse – is that there are some things you simply don't plan for.

Peeling off the labels

We live in a society that increasingly seems to demand that all actions, thoughts, beliefs and individuals be labeled in no uncertain terms, one way or another.

It wasn’t always this way. What changed? When did we become so dependent upon – and determined to identify – finite labels for everything and everyone? It’s truly not our best look. And not the healthiest way to exist.

A messy food fight

Ten people were arrested yesterday on Mechanicsville Turnpike in Henrico County while protesting working conditions for fast-food industry employees. The arrests were among more than 700 nationwide as part of a movement called “Fight for $15” designed to call attention to the issue, as workers seek improved conditions, the right to unionize and $15-per-hour wages.

Unfortunately, the method by which they chose to make their point was as misguided as their key demand.

Let’s all go back to school

School will be back in session in Henrico County and throughout Metro Richmond on Tuesday, which apparently means that not only has summer started, but now it’s also over.

That was fast.

The public school system is a source of pride in Henrico and should be. It’s one of the best in the state by many measurements. But it’s not perfect – no system is.

The death of a journalist

I didn’t know James Foley, the American journalist who was brutally executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week.

I had not read any of his coverage from Syria, where more than 170,000 people have been killed in a brutal Civil War. I had not watched any of his video reports from Afghanistan, where he was embedded with US troops during combat, or from Libya, where he spent 44 days in captivity after being taken by troops loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

I didn’t know James Foley, but I do know one of his cousins.

Henrico supervisors erred in reviving public prayer

Henrico County’s Board of Supervisors recently resumed its practice of permitting religious leaders to engage in a moment of public prayer prior to its twice-monthly public meetings.

This is an unfortunate mistake – and one that is surprising, given Henrico’s progressive nature.

The board reintroduced the invocation practice – which it had eliminated in 2012 and replaced with a moment of silence – following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May decision that the Town Board of Greece, N.Y. was not violating the Constitution by allowing similar prayer offerings prior to its public meetings.

Letters to the Editor – Aug. 14, 2014

Not everyone thrilled about Capital Trail construction

I enjoy reading your paper but was taken back by the article in a recent issue, "Capital Trail taking shape in Varina," by Eileen Mellon.

Lessons in parenting (Year One)

My son turned one year old Wednesday.

This means that I can officially join the legions of parents everywhere who say (and truly mean) 'It goes so fast.'

By “it,” of course, I am referring to “money for diapers,” though it’s fair to say that it also could apply to time.

Henrico County: Hardball hotbed

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline spurred a flurry of moves yesterday, as contending teams made deals to improve their chances of making the playoffs and, ultimately, winning the World Series.

Here at home, Henrico County officials were busy making a baseball-related move earlier this week, too, but in their case it was an extension rather than a new acquisition.

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Community

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

Henricus Historical Park to host Publick Day Sept. 20

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its anniversary during Publick Day, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the New World. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus. Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia, and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Extras sought for AMC’s ‘TURN’

Paid extras are being sought to appear in the AMC television series TURN: Washington's Spies, which will begin filming its second season in the Richmond area at the end of September and continue through February.

No experience is required, but producers say that extras must have flexible availability, reliable transportation and a positive attitude.

Arvold Casting is holding an open call on Sunday, Sept. 21 and is seeking men, women and children who are Caucasian, African American and Native American, with thin to average builds and who can realistically portray people living in Revolutionary War times. Long hair is a plus but not a must. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


TGIF! Celebrate the weekend at Oak Hall Baptist Church’s Community Block Party on Saturday. Learn more about ballroom dancing, art and Colonial times. Or take the kids to Generation Z Games for water play or Southern Season to cook up a Disney-theme meal. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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