Henrico County VA
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Henrico’s grocery wars

By the time you finish reading this column, another grocer will have announced plans to open a new store in Henrico County.

Ok, maybe not quite. But doesn’t it feel that way?

Since last fall:
• Kroger has opened its newest “superstore” on Staples Mill Road at Hungary Spring Road;

Would you like extra tax with that?

Are you paying too much when you buy food or drinks in Henrico County?

Maybe.

Some Henrico consumers have been charged the county’s new 4-percent meals tax on items that shouldn’t have been taxed. Beverages purchased by themselves, for example, are not taxable under the new ordinance, which took effect June 1.

Justice unserved

A 23-year-old mother whose negligence caused the deaths of her two young children last year is a free woman, thanks to an unconscionable decision by a Henrico judge last week.

Judge Gary Hicks decided that 72 days in jail last year was enough for Chester resident Brittney Downing, who intentionally left her three-month-old daughter and 20-month-old son in her car last May, while she worked an eight-hour job at the Comfort Suites hotel at Virginia Center in Glen Allen.

Cemeteries: for reverence or recreation?


When the story broke recently about an uproar over an Easter egg hunt in a Norfolk cemetery, I took more than a passing interest.

You see, I spend a lot of time in a cemetery these days. My daughter Lanie is buried at Hollywood, and I visit her grave and walk the cemetery at least three times a week.

I am partial to the place -- you might even say possessive. I think of it as my cemetery, while realizing that I actually share ownership with thousands of area residents, tourists, and descendants and relatives of the interred.

Cooking for a vegetarian wanna-be

You know your 13-year-old child is truly growing up when he announces his plan to become a vegetarian, effective immediately.

“But you like meat,” I pointed out.

“True. But I don’t like the idea of eating animals.” He rubbed his belly sentimentally. “It doesn’t make me feel good.”

Apparently, meat of the porcine and bovine variety particularly bothers him. And poultry doesn’t sound too appetizing to him either. (Fish we can slaughter at will.)

Cross-country walker hits the lucky seven

During Memorial Day weekend, I imagine that many of you went to cookouts, ate hotdogs, visited the beach, boated on The River, attended memorial services and rode or walked in parades.

If not for a broken vase and a laceration requiring seven stitches, I might have done the same.

Instead, I spent part of my weekend involved in a personal memorial observance, and in a small, ragtag, but meaningful parade along the streets of Henrico.

My Memorial Day journey began when George Throop of Vancouver, Wash. – nearing the end of his own 4,500 mile, three-year walk across America – crossed the Huguenot Bridge into Henrico County and headed for Richmond along River Road.

‘Cromagnon Mom’ pleads for higher driving age


Among some of my parenting peers, I am sure I was considered overly permissive in my child-rearing.

I was not strict on bedtimes; I let my girls get crazy dirty, wear jeans and t-shirts and do other 'unfeminine' things. On occasion I even let them listen to rap music, or join me at Legend Brewing for movie night.

But to my own three kids, I was always Cromagnon Mom – especially on the topic of teen-age driving.

Coming to grips with postpartum depression

Sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, I warmed up a bottle and sat down to feed my son. At just four weeks old, my first-born had proven to be worth the wait. I glanced at the clock - it was 3 a.m. – and as I started to drift off, my eyes focused on the closet door.

I wonder what sound his head would make if I slammed him against the door?

I needed help.

End-of-day rituals create comfort, sense of belonging


If your New Year’s resolution is to slow down the pace of your family life, find some quiet moments and make more good memories, you may be in the market for some ideas about creating after-school and bedtime rituals.

In a back-to-school Family Forum column, we examined some ways that parents can build little rituals into the morning send-off routines, and suggested a couple of rituals to make the homecoming hours nicer as well, such as teatime and old-fashioned popcorn popping.

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Community

Christmas Mother program kicks off

Christmas Mothers hailing from as far back as 1976 (Thelma Moore) gathered at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center Oct. 15 (at right) for the annual coffee hosted by The Henrico Christmas Mother Council. > Read more.

Henrico woman wins $10k home energy makeover contest

Princess Banks of Henrico is the winner of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance's $10,000 Richmond Home Energy Makeover Contest, officials announced Oct. 15. Banks and her husband, along with their nine-year-old daughter, will receive energy updates to their home by mid-November, including a new heating and cooling system, added insulation and duct sealing.

“The grand prize is going to a family who will see a vast improvement in their home’s energy performance,” said Bill Greenleaf, executive director of the Richmond Region Energy Alliance. “As we promised, this family won once and they will save forever.” > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There are several charity events in Henrico this weekend – The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ 5K walk in Innsbrook, Hilliard House’s ‘Harvesting the Grape’ event and the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sophie House in Glen Allen. Admission to the first ever outdoor music festival ‘Jammin’ on the Ave’ in Lakeside will also benefit a worthy cause - the Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad. Click here for more! > Read more.

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Entertainment

Breaking the chain

Chuy’s proves it’s possible to have many locations but retain unique feel

If you’ve driven through Short Pump in the past six months, there’s not a chance you’ve missed Chuy’s, the big and bold Tex-Mex restaurant in West Broad Village. From the outside, the brightly painted 8,000 square foot building gives a foretaste of what’s inside: eclectic decor, a fun menu, and from my experience, a lot of noise. The restaurant is a chain of 40 in the nation, but it’s the first of its kind in Virginia.

We were fortunate to arrive at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, the perfect time for happy hour. From 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, there are drink specials, but what’s really special is the free nacho bar served out of a giant car hood. > 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.

Groove spot

Bar Louie’s atmosphere impresses
There are not many places I know where friends of rock, funk, and soul music can enjoy life music, dance, and have fun in a pleasant bar setting without fear of permanent ear damage.

So I was happily surprised to find all of these enticing ingredients of a great time out when I visited Bar Louie at Short Pump Town Center on a Saturday night. In the spacious bar/restaurant I found myself surrounded by the well-tuned sounds presented by The Groove Motive, a local band, and a cheerful crowd of funk lovers of all ages dancing the night away. > Read more.

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