Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

Bored senseless

“Short Pump is too boring.”

Ever heard anyone say that?

Unless “b-o-r-i-n-g” is a new way to spell “congested,” I never had.

That is, until this week, when an email from Movoto (a website that exists) arrived in my inbox, alerting me to the stark reality that Short Pump is, in fact, the second most boring place in all of Virginia. Well, technically it tied for second with another bastion of boredom – Loudoun County’s South Riding, whose poor residents suffer through sad lives that involve sitting around all day counting how many racehorses and Aston Martins they own.

The crisis that isn’t

Getting run over by a cow.

Receiving a bite from a poisonous spider.

Becoming infected with MRSA.

Suffering a bunk bed accident.

Being legally executed.

No, these aren’t all just things I’d rather do than watch Dancing With the Stars – they’re actually things that are, statistically, far more likely to kill you than Ebola.

Why I walk to fight Alzheimer’s

People have asked me why I am involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer's. The answer is simple. I will Walk this year and every year, in memory of my grandmother, Edith (Mimi) Bartkowiak.

Mimi passed away on Aug. 16, a mere eighteen days past her 87th birthday, from Alzheimer’s disease. She was truly one of a kind. I know we all say that about our grandmothers, but it’s true. There was, and never will be, another Mimi. She was an amazing woman.

Mimi was compassionate.

Modern parents have it soft (or do they?)


By the time my first child was born, I assumed parenthood couldn’t hold too many surprises. Between caring for three younger siblings, monopolizing my neighborhood babysitting market, and coaching youth sports for the previous two decades, I had more experience with children at age 28 than some adults accumulate in a lifetime.

But I was still in for a shock when my daughter arrived.

I never anticipated the bone-deep, sapped-of-all-life weariness I would feel after a day of being home with her (and later her two sisters).

I never dreamed how mentally cruel motherhood could be: how my children would not only dominate my every waking thought, but seize my subconscious and induce crazy, irrational nightmares about them as I slept.

Henrico’s best

Next week, the Citizen’s third annual Henricopedia magazine will appear in print copies of the paper and elsewhere throughout Henrico County.

The magazine is designed as a resource about all things Henrico – a handy reference whether you’re looking for the number of a county agency or seeking a community organization to volunteer with. . . whether you want to register your child for youth baseball or find a new Italian restaurant to try on a Saturday night. . . whether you’re seeking a senior living community for your parents or a church to attend nearby.

The Henrico that most don’t know

Significant portions of the history of this nation were written, erased and written again in parts of Henrico County that most Henrico residents have never visited.

If you’re among them, this weekend presents an opportunity to change that.

The county will host what Henrico officials are calling the largest event they've ever staged – a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of New Market Heights in Varina, which took place almost exactly 150 years ago.

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.

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Community

Hands-on duties

More than 1,000 volunteers from throughout the region gathered last month as part of HandsOn Greater Richmond to complete more than 60 projects.

The event is a program of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence.

In Henrico, a group of Target employees (pictured) undertook a project at Fairfield Middle School to help re-plant the school's community garden and paint the outdoor shelter. > Read more.

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

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.

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Entertainment

A West End tradition

Melito’s earns its longevity with classic meals
Melito's has been around as long as I can remember; in fact it’s been around longer than I can remember; the business is more than 30 years old.

Since I was a little girl, my family has been making memories at Melito’s. It’s the place where my date took me for prom and where my family ate after church on Sundays.

There is something familiar and reliable about this old favorite situated at the corner of Three Chopt and Eastridge roads. It's not in the city and it's not in Short Pump, but it finds its home near Regency Mall and Westbury Pharmacy, a nice reprieve from both central locations.

The bar is always full and the line is usually out the door with families, couples and diners of every age waiting to get a classic, American meal in friendly wooden booths. Every time I step into the cozy hole-in-the-wall restaurant, it is packed from wall to wall. > Read more.

A gift that should stop giving

‘Jingle All the Way 2’ is expectedly flawed
Was anyone asking for an extra-large helping of Larry the Cable Guy this Christmas? If so, you can thank Santa Claus for Jingle All the Way 2.

If not, you can be like the rest of us and curse Santa for his folly in creating such a film. Santa, we neither wanted nor needed this.

A follow-up to the much-derided 1996 Christmas film Jingle All the Way, Jingle All the Way 2 isn’t so much a sequel as it is an odd kind of remake, offering a few original twists on the original’s dad-vs-dad holiday showdown, but also copying large chunks of the original without alteration. > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

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Ages 8-12 are invited to Lessons from the Past: A Tea Party from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Walkerton Tavern. “Tea” refers to a small refreshment or snack to… Full text

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