Henrico County Opinions

Thanksgiving, Part II


As Thanksgiving approached four years ago, I wrote in this space about how thankful I was.

At the time, only three months had passed since the death of my youngest daughter.

I was inspired to write the column, however, because another bereaved parent had said that Thanksgiving is a joke when you are grieving for a child.

After initially agreeing with him, I had to admit that I did have much to be thankful for. And now that several years have passed, I have much more. > Read more.

Storm woes for e-junkies


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.
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Heroes of the classroom

The highlight of my eighth-grade year at my Northern Virginia middle school was landing in the social studies class of the incomparable Mr. Hart, a teacher whose reputation for pure awesomeness was well-established long before I entered his classroom for the first time.

Middle-schoolers seem, on average, to be less than enthralled with history, for reasons I never fully understood when I was one. Me? I couldn’t get enough of it.

And as I quickly learned, everything I’d heard about Mr. Hart was true. > Read more.

School calendar overhaul long overdue


It's a 19th-century anachronism, and long ago stopped serving its intended purpose.

It has failed to keep up with social change, continues to stifle progress, and acts as a major obstacle to growth and improvement.

It makes no sense whatsoever in the 21st century, yet continues to exist because of bureaucratic inertia, resistance to change, and the attitude "we've always done it that way."

It wastes space, time, manpower and – most of all – it results in the waste of millions of young minds.

Yes, I'm talking about our antiquated and inflexible school calendar. > Read more.

The right to vote – or not

Another election is in the books. Did you vote?

If you did, you’re to be congratulated.

If you didn’t, you’re to be castigated automatically as a thoughtless jerk and a horrible citizen.

Or so it seems in certain circles.

I don’t happen to hold membership in those circles, however. > Read more.

At a crossroads

A pedestrian attempting to cross West Broad Street at Gaskins Road was struck by a car and seriously injured on Monday night. Immediately afterward, some in the community began calling for increased safety measures at the busy intersection, which serves some 36,000 vehicles a day.

But is fixing the problem of frequent accidents at a busy intersection as easy as that? And in this case, is there truly a discernible and recurrent problem that needs to be fixed at all? > Read more.

A shot in the dark

Canadian shooting highlights how numb we've become to gun violence
A man was shot and killed in Canada on Wednesday, and his death brought the entire nation of 35 million to an emotional standstill.

A man was shot and killed on Laburnum Avenue in Henrico County Monday, and this may be the first you’ve even heard about it.

As a nation, we long ago became numb to the impact of gun-related violence and homicide. It’s simply an expectation now – one that hardly surprises us even when it is particularly awful and cruel, as a host of school shootings have proven in recent years.
> Read more.

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Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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Calendar

The Innsbrook Executives’ Breakfast Series continues at 7:15 a.m. at the Richmond Marriott Short Pump, 4240 Dominion Blvd. The guest speaker will be Peter Larsen, senior business improvement specialist at Cobb Technologies. Larsen will share his optimistic and tactical adjustments to make 2017 a year of effective changes for your business. Cost is $25 to $30. The series continues on the third Thursday of every month. For details, visit http://www.innsbrook.com. Full text

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