Henrico County VA
Henrico County Opinions

Cabin fever cures - and blessings

The wintry weather we’ve been having lately brings to mind a popular discussion topic at playgroups and mom forums back when I had young children: cabin fever – and how to cope with it.

In Pennsylvania, where we lived when my kids were small, there was no such thing as having too many ideas on how to liven up those long dreary days of indoor confinement. Not only were winters considerably longer and snowier than Richmond’s, but it was the 1980s, and there were fewer entertainment options around.

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.

Announcing Henrico Restaurant Week

Henrico County is home to more than 500 restaurants, and it always seems as if a few new ones are opening each month. Included among their numbers are eateries for just about any taste – from Indian to French, Mexican to Greek, Japanese to Mediterranean – oh, and American too, along with plenty of options in between.

We have wine bars, brewpubs, neighborhood barbecue joints and elegant seafood restaurants. So isn’t it about time we celebrated the unique spots that make Henrico a feast for our tastebuds?

We thought so.

That’s why we’ve created the first-ever Henrico Restaurant Week, which will take place this spring (April 11-19, to be exact). Technically it’s more than a week, because we think you’ll need five weekdays and two full weekends to sufficiently stuff yourself and appreciate the offerings that abound right here in Henrico.

An actual holiday spirit


There are three kinds of people when it comes to Christmas – those who love it; Scrooges and Grinches; and those who fall somewhere in between.

The Christmas-lovers are the ones who hum Christmas jingles year round; who start trying out new holiday cookie recipes in July and beginscouring Christmas stores for decorations in August; who love to flip through holiday-themed magazines; who are thrilled when stores hang ornaments in September; who like to wear those jingly, blinking sweaters; and who savor Christmas shopping as their favorite sport. I have even heard of Christmas lovers who go shopping on Christmas Eve – despite having everything on their lists – just because they want to be part of the "hustle and bustle."

Clearly, these people are certifiable.

Mi-‘Steak’-en anger

A seemingly popular West End restaurant closed this week without warning, leaving its staff unexpectedly jobless and plenty of fingers pointed angrily at its owner.

This was the angle most commonly reported during coverage of the closing of Quaker Steak and Lube on West Broad Street, and while it’s certainly a difficult situation coming a few weeks before the holidays, there’s also another angle that doesn’t get coverage – perhaps because it doesn’t fit the broadcast narrative.

The common cry here is “How could someone do this to his employees – and just weeks before Christmas, no less?! How dare he!”

Letters to the Editor


School overcrowding causes foundation problems

Editor:

I believe the article “Henrico School Board weighs projects” by Citizen Editor Tom Lappas is important to those of Henrico County. I am originally from Henrico but I am currently a student at James Madison University. In my current sociology class, education is a big topic of discussion.

I am sure that it is common sense that a bad foundation of knowledge leads to later struggles with education; however, what some may not realize is overcrowding, like what is occurring at the four elementary schools in Brookland District, is one of the leading causes in a weak foundation. Based on research, boys struggle with verbal skills early on.

The immigration complication

When he was 14 years old, my grandfather left the tiny mountaintop village in Greece where he’d spent his entire existence and walked with several other teens and young men down the mountain – a journey that must have taken a week or more – to the nearest port to board a ship to Athens, then another to New York City.

He never returned to Greece, never saw his parents or three younger brothers again.

I never knew my grandfather, because he died when my dad was just 15, so I never had the chance to ask him: Why?

Why was he willing to make such a painstaking journey at such a young age, giving up everything that he knew in exchange for so many things that he did not. A language. A country. A history. A family.

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.

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.

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Community

State provides online directory of Bingo games


Wondering where to go to play Bingo? Wonder no more.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently launched an online directory of permitted bingo games played in Virginia. Listed by locality, more than 400 regular games are available across the state. The directory will be updated monthly and can be found on VDACS’ website at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/gaming/index.shtml.

“Many Virginia charities, including volunteer rescue squads, booster clubs and programs to feed the homeless, use proceeds from charitable gaming as a tool to support their missions, said Michael Menefee, program manager for VDACS’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs. > Read more.

Local couple wins wedding at Lewis Ginter


Richmonders Jim Morgan and Dan Stackhouse were married at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Lakeside Mar. 7 month after winning the Say I Do! With OutRVA wedding contest in February. The contest was open to LGBT couples in recognition of Virginia’s marriage equality law, which took effect last fall. The wedding included a package valued at $25,000.

Morgan and Stackhouse, who became engaged last fall on the day marriage equality became the law in Virginia, have been together for 16 years. They were selected from among 40 couples who registered for the contest. The winners were announced at the Say I Do! Dessert Soiree at the Renaissance in Richmond in February. > Read more.

Fourth-annual Healy Gala planned


The Fourth Annual Healy Gala will be held Saturday, Apr. 11, at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The event was created to honor Michael Healy, a local businessman and community leader who died suddenly in June 2011, and to endow the Mike Healy Scholarship (through the Glen Allen Ruritan Club), which benefits students of Glen Allen High School.

Healy served as the chairman of Glen Allen Day for several years and helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities and organizations. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


The University of Richmond will host its annual Global Family Concert this weekend – a free, family friendly concert featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances. Country music fans can head to The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen for “An Evening of Country” featuring The Honky Tonk Experience. Enjoy the spring weather at Meadow Farm for “Sheep to Shawl” or join the Henrico Hiking Club at James River Park. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > 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.

You shouldn’t go ‘Home’ again


The premise behind Home is so much cooler than what you’d expect. Assuming of course, that “what you’d expect” is the picture presented by the film’s recent ad barrage: a by-the-numbers road trip between Rihanna and an alien with the exact mannerisms of The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. But Home opens with a much more inventive concept. Earth is invaded by the Boov, a squid-ish species that assumes humans are about as intelligent as cattle. They transform Australia into one giant carnival and plop all of humanity there to content itself while the Boov make their new home in rest of the now-emptied planet. Neat, right?

One problem: a girl, Gratuity “Tip” Tucci (Rihanna), who manages to avoid the great relocation (done with giant space vacuums, of course) and sets out on a quest to find her abducted mother. Along the way, she’ll meet up with Oh (Jim Parsons), a Boov who’s been outcast for being too unique among his very cookie-cutter species. > Read more.

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Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Rd. in Glen Allen, will offer the class “All About Herbs and Veggies” from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This class builds upon your… Full text

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