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.

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.

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.

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Community

Weekend Top 10

Looking for something to do this weekend? You've come to the right place. Below are details about this weekend's top 10 events around town, as selected by Henrico Citizen Events Editor Sarah Story. > Read more.

High Heel Dash for breast cancer in Innsbrook Saturday

Women – and men – are invited to kick up their high-heeled stilettos, pumps and platforms and race to find a cure during Richmond’s debut of the Komen High Heel Dash on Saturday, March 10 at 4 p.m. at The Shoppes at Innsbrook.

Hosted by the Central Virginia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the High Heel Dash participants will sprint 50 yards in their heels of choice. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest and “best dressed” racers. Race participation is open to the public for a $10 entry fee. Registration is available online at http://www.komencentralva.org or on the day of the race beginning at 3 p.m. Teams and creative costumes are encouraged. There is no admission for spectators. > Read more.

All Henrico Reads book discussions start Thursday

Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” has been selected as the 2012 author for All Henrico Reads. Book discussions will be held at several libraries beginning March 8 at Tuckahoe Library. The discussions lead up to the AHR main event on April 5 when Stein will discuss the book and sign copies. > Read more.

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Entertainment

New West End dining, cooking options sprouting this spring

A local food truck operator and owner of a culinary incubator are mixing their talents together to bring a new concept to Henrico. In May, Melissa Krumbein and Joseph Andreoli will open Nosh, a catering company that provides cooking classes as well as a personal chef service.

Krumbein is the owner of Kitchen Thyme, a rent-by the-hour kitchen in the Olde Towne Shopping Center for chefs and other cook enthusiasts. Andreoli, who operates a food truck called Dressed and Pressed, will be teaching the cooking classes. > Read more.

A feast for the senses


At first glance, Riad Moroccan Grill might appear cavernous and anything but cozy.

But by the end of my first visit, the attentive staff and top-notch service had won us over and made my fellow diner and me feel at home. By the end of my second visit – following a delectable feast at the luncheon buffet -- I was ready to settle down for a nap on the inviting Moroccan pillows in the booth. > Read more.

Lounging in style

Cigar bar jazzes up Short Pump nightlife

Mona Lounge Cigar Bar opened Jan. 2 under the leadership of Emir Kobak, who brought 12 years of hotel industry experience with him. It is the only cigar bar in the state that offers food, beverages, cigars and entertainment under one roof. The lounge offers a full bar with wine, beer, spirits and a full kitchen with snacks. It supports the local art scene by providing a platform for live music and visual artists, such as painters and photographers. > Read more.

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Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave., will offer a free “Introduction to Volleyball” class for ages 11-13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This clinic is designed specifically… Full text

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