Henrico County VA

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.

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.

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Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Temperatures are getting cooler and this weekend is a great time to spend outdoors! Relive the Battle of New Market Heights as the County of Henrico commemorates the 150th anniversary Sept. 27-28. Get a little exercise while supporting a good cause at the Short Pump Mile & Express Run and Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Or “Party on the Avenues” at a unique street festival at the Libbie/Grove/Patterson corridor. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Marine life made human

Dolphin Tale 2 provides innocuous, feel-good story
Dolphin Tale 2 is not a complicated film. Far from it – the story can be summed up in just three short words: “Aquarium seeks dolphin.”

A little elaboration wouldn’t hurt, though.

The sequel to 2011’s Dolphin Tale (about the real-life dolphin, Winter, who lost her tail in a crab trap and learned to swim with a prosthesis), Dolphin Tale 2 follows the same cheerily blended family in the same marine hospital/aquarium we saw them in last time. Only, one of their dolphins (not Winter, don’t worry) succumbs to old age, leaving a hole in this sea-life-inclusive Brady Bunch.

Losing a dolphin is a big deal – in captivity, it’s required that they live in pairs. > Read more.

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Tom Leonard’s free Friday Night Movie at the Pumpkin Patch will feature “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” at 7 p.m. in the outdoor haybale theater. There will be cider… Full text

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