Henrico County Opinions

Storm woes for e-junkies

When the lights go out – even when they’re still on – turn to books, bikes and board games

On June 16, Richmond experienced extensive power outages after a summer storm with high winds.

Falling trees demolished cars and homes, blocked roads, and can-openered roofs -- adding water damage to structural collapse. Hospitals scrambled for extra generators. Businesses lost thousands of dollars in refrigerated and frozen goods. Insurance adjusters flocked to town from all corners of the state to handle claims. Worst of all, a Richmond resident suffered serious injuries after being hit by a falling tree -- and a beloved Godwin teacher lost his life at an intersection with non-functioning traffic signals.

As the power outage dragged on for days, the hardship stories multiplied. It seemed half the town was futilely search for ice, sweltering without air conditioning, or busting the budget eating all their meals in restaurants. > Read more.

‘Good old days’ were good – for some

My brother Paul and I recently were discussing the “good old days,” and his belief that the Fifties was the best decade ever.

While Paul cited the era’s prosperous economy at the top of his list, he also alluded to another favorite theme of Fifties fans: the social and cultural climate. The decade was a happier time, fans say, because life was simpler, families were closer and marriages stronger. Many of my 50’s-born peers speak nostalgically of the way we romped in the great outdoors by day and shared meals with our families by night, then bonded in our ritual gathering around the TV set. > Read more.

Of character and parenting

My daughters and I grew up in vastly different families, so it's not surprising that we hold differing opinions about family dynamics. One of the areas in which we part ways dramatically is the value we place on good parenting.

If there is one fundamental belief that I developed as a result of my upbringing, it is that parenting is the most important role anyone plays in life.

I don't care how accomplished or otherwise wonderful a man or woman is when it comes to career, athletics, academics, or social relationships – if that person doesn't strive to give his or her children the time, attention and love that children need, then that person lacks character in my book.

My oldest daughter, on the other hand, told me recently that she thinks a person can be a lousy parent – yet still be a good person. > Read more.

Opinion: Rename school for late Henrico officer

By Jeff Katz
The Henrico County School Board has decided that the Harry Flood Byrd Middle School will undergo a name change. A community effort focused on the legacy of the late Harry Byrd correctly pointed out that he consistently spearheaded efforts to keep black children from being able to attend schools. While some claimed that he was simply a product of his time, I agree with the community members who called for the name change. I believe that naming a school after a man who led the charge to deny an appropriate education to children is not just offensive, but borders on the obscene. Now that the decision has been made to change the name, we’re faced with the challenge of finding an appropriate replacement. > Read more.

Of car chats and grocery games

Every time I see a child in the grocery store, shuffling behind Mom with his or her eyes glued to an electronic device, I can't help cringing.

Yes, I know how hard it is to get your shopping done with a tired, bored, whiny kid along. As a veteran of two decades in the SPWM (Single Parent While Married) Club, I only rarely enjoyed the chance for a leisurely grocery trip without two or three kids in tow.
> Read more.

The greatest love of all

In my 20s, I thought I knew all there was to know about love.

After all, I was well-acquainted with the love a person has for friends and family members.

What's more, I had found romantic love – "the love of my life" – after having been through a couple of previous "loves" that I realized were crushes once I met my future husband. > Read more.

My daughters’ other dads

My three girls had it so much better than I did in so many ways.

They enjoyed academic opportunities, enrichment programs, and even a choice of schools to attend that I could not have imagined in the regimented, one-size-fits-all schools of my own era. They had the chance to participate in recreational sports and school athletics that didn't exist for girls in my pre-Title-IX school years. And they had a mother who was involved in their lives and passionate about raising them to grow up to be confident, capable, compassionate young women.

There's only one way that I can say I was one-up on my daughters. > Read more.

All hail to mothers and the hardest job of all

I once thought that raising my children was the hardest work I had ever done or would ever do.

Raising my three daughters was so physically, mentally and emotionally taxing that I often fell asleep at 9 p.m. when they were young – the instant I had them tucked in bed.

By midmorning, I was always drained of mental and physical energy (quite literally "drained" in the days of nursing infants on demand), and almost crazed with exhaustion by nighttime. There was never enough sleep, and there were never enough breaks. > Read more.

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Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will host Goblins and Gourds from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Celebrate harvest time in the Children’s Garden with a concert by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, along with a parade, pumpkin painting, storytelling, demonstrations and more. Included with regular Garden admission, which is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for children 3-12. For details, visit http://www.lewisginter.org. Full text

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